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Run benefits cancer awareness

Kelly Davis | Monday, September 22, 2008

Members of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities ran and walked in the 25th Annual Domer Run Saturday to benefit Ovarian Cancer awareness and education, race director and assistant director of facilities, special events and family programming, Jeff Walker said. The run, which is held on a designated away football weekend each fall, started at 9 a.m. in front of Moose Kraus drive near the stadium tunnel.

Walker said race participation increased by 15 to 20 percent this year. He credited the growth mainly to online registration, which was instated this year. Although RecSports did not have participant numbers finalized by Sunday, an estimated 550 to 575 competitors either ran the six-mile or three-mile race, or walked two miles, he said.

“One thing that makes this race unique is that it a three-mile and six-mile instead of 5K and 10K,” said Walker. “Twenty-five years ago, kilometers weren’t typically used to measure race distances. Very much like Notre Dame, it is traditional.”

Before the race began, recently ordained priest and Notre Dame Law School Dean Emeritus Dave Link said a blessing over the runners in memory of his late wife, Barbara Link. Link, a Notre Dame alumna, battled ovarian cancer before her death in 2003. The race was held in memory and honor of both Link and Ruth Boutelle, a former member of the Domer Run Committee who died of ovarian cancer in 2006.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 23,400 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed and 15,000 women die of ovarian cancer each year according to the informational pamphlet provided at the run. The overall 5-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer is only between 35 and 49 percent, according to the pamphlet.

The money raised from the registration fees and donations will be given toward the cause. As of Sunday night, no figures were available, a RecSports representative said.

The course, available in map form online at the RecSports Web site, took runners around Main Circle then over to Saint Mary’s Lake, where the three-milers and six-milers split off. The three-mile course went in front of main building, along main quad, and finished in front of Hesburgh Library. For the first time this year, the six-mile course, instead of doing two laps on the three-mile route, ventured east along Twyckenham and Edison roads. “I wanted to experience the challenge of the Domer Run,” sophomore Andrew Mrugala said. Having never run six miles consecutively before, Mrugala said he entertained himself by “singing the fight song over and over again in my head.”

Sophomore Chris Harvan participated in the three mile run this year.

He said he ran because “its for a good cause and I had participated last year,” and he wanted to “just go out and have an enjoyable run with friends, really.”

After completing the run or walk, participants were given a complimentary pancake breakfast, courtesy of Legends, and T-shirts, Walker said. Traditionally, the Domer Run t-shirt features “a view of the dome and a representation of running,” said Walker. This year’s white, gold and teal shirts fulfilled the practice.

As added incentive for students to participate, a pizza party and hall points will be given to the hall with the highest representation. The winning hall was yet to be determined Sunday night, Walker said.