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Domer Run increases local cancer awareness

| Friday, September 19, 2014

Since 1983, the Domer Run has allowed participants to take in campus sights while running to raise money for cancer awareness and education, and this year’s run will start Saturday at 9 a.m. at Legends.

Amy Marquez, an intern for special events and family programming at Rolfs Sports Recreation Center , said the run has been in the works for months.

“We usually start planning around June and July,” Marquez said. “We try to do it before it gets really cold … and we work around the football schedule.”

A Notre Dame graduate student first conceived of the idea for the Domer Run 31 years ago. Its original purpose was to provide students with something to do when there was no football game that weekend, and it has raised over $65,000 in its history, according to the RecSports website.

“It started out as something fun to do and it just got bigger and bigger,” Marquez said. “1993 is when they added the breakfast and in 1997, they started it for charity.”

The proceeds for this year’s race will benefit a local group called Gyna Girls, whose mission is to raise awareness and provide support for women who have been affected by gynecological cancer.

Every year, the Domer Run highlights one person associated with the charity the run sponsors. This year, the honoree is Beckie Morris, an ovarian cancer patient of 15 years.

Doctors caught her cancer late and diagnosed it as Stage III ovarian cancer. Today, Morris maintains a goal of raising cancer awareness in hopes that it will decrease the numbers of late diagnoses.

The Domer Run also reaches out to club sports teams and athletic varsity teams for volunteers, although volunteer opportunities are open to all willing participants. This year, members of the Boxing Club, Ski Club, and Squash Club will all volunteer at the event.

The race is open to anyone age 13 and up, including those in the South Bend community. Several groups on campus have decided to run together, including the Women’s Running Club, which has registered 20 girls to run Saturday.

“We all decided to run it together to make a contribution for cancer awareness,” Lauren Hill, a Notre Dame freshman and member of the Women’s Running Club, said. “I’m excited to take some time to take in the campus sights — something I can’t do when I’m rushing to class.”

The day of the race runs on a tight schedule, Marquez said.

“We mark the course three days ahead of time, but the day of we usually come [in] around 3:45 a.m. to get things ready,” Marquez said. “It’s a long day … [but] we have fun with it.”

This is the first year that participants will have time chips in their race bibs, and every participant will receive an Under Armour shirt. These updates caused a slight spike in registration fees, but Marquez said the number of participants is expected to be about the same as previous years.

“I think overall people are willing to give whatever they can and in return we just try to provide a better race for them,” Marquez said.

Online registration for the Domer Run ends today at noon and last-minute registration before the race will be from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning.

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About Selena Ponio

Selena Ponio is from Dallas, Texas and is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame. She is the Associate News Editor for The Observer. Selena lives in Breen-Phillips hall and is majoring in International Economics with a concentration in Spanish and is minoring in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy.

Contact Selena