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RecSports Domer Run searches for cancer cure

by MELISSA FLANAGAN | Monday, September 20, 2010


While many on campus were taking advantage of the away football game to sleep in, about 350 students and community members participated in the 27th annual Domer Run Saturday morning.
Tim Novak, coordinator of special events and family programs for RecSports, said he thought the busy weekend caused the run’s numbers to be slightly lower than usual. 
“The run went very well,” Novak said.  “The numbers were a little lower this year than numbers in the past, but I think that has a lot to do with the football game at MSU today and the chariot races going on.”
 The run had three divisions: a three-mile race, a six-mile race and a two-mile family fun run/walk.  There were 248 runners between the three- and six-mile divisions and about 100 runners in the fun run, Novak said. 
Most people pre-registered, but about 60 runners registered Saturday morning, Novak said.  The courses all began on the press box side of the Notre Dame Stadium and finished on Library Quad.
 The races ended with a complimentary breakfast at Legends, where runners compared their finishing times and picked up their free T-shirts and bags full of coupons.  There were also raffles with prizes such as apparel from the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore and gift certificates to Hot Box Pizza.
 The proceeds from the event are given to the Notre Dame Alumni Association, which uses the money to support cancer research and education, a brochure on the event said.  The Alumni Association shares the funds with the Gyna-Girls, an area women’s gynecologic cancer support group.  These two organizations have been receiving the profits from the Domer Run since 1997.
“I personally enjoy working on the run because it goes to such a great cause,” Novak said.  “Working with the students shows the commitment to service that Notre Dame has for the community around us.”
Students and community members not only ran side by side, but they also worked side by side at the run.  In addition to the RecSports staff and a handful of student volunteers, many children from South Bend helped out in various ways, such as stringing the outline of the course and handing numbers out at the finish line. 
The atmosphere for the races was competitive, while the family fun run/walk was much more relaxed, Novak said.  Most people who participated in the fun run were either families of cancer survivors or families who have lost someone to cancer.  Many survivors were there themselves.
“The survivors were a very big help today,” Novak said.  “They really stepped it up and came through for us.”
Many students were touched by these survivors, as well as by those who had lost someone to cancer.  Annie DeMott, a sophomore who ran the three-mile race, was moved by the words of a man who lost his wife.
“He told us to go out on the run hard, and if we start to feel tired or like giving up, we should think of his late wife and be inspired,” DeMott said.  “It’s such a good cause. It was definitely worth doing.”