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32nd annual Domer Run raises cancer awareness, benefits survivors

| Friday, October 2, 2015

Saturday at 9 a.m., roughly 400 people will line up for Notre Dame’s annual Domer Run.

The race originally began to give students something to do on a Saturday when the football team was on the road, but since then, the race has taken on an additional service component.

“Notre Dame is such a traditional university,” Justine Morneau, a RecSports intern in charge of organizing the run, said. “I think that is what really draws a lot of people in, the Notre Dame tradition. I am really excited to get to the day and have everyone running, to get to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.”

According to Notre Dame’s RecSports website, the Domer Run has raised over $65,000 since its inception 32 years ago. The proceeds go to charity, funding programs which help to educate both the Notre Dame community and the surrounding areas about various forms of cancer.

“I’m excited to be a part of this because of what it stands for,” Morneau said. “Usually we donate anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. I’m expecting we’ll donate about the same this year.”

The money raised will benefit RiverBend Cancer Services, Morneau said. According to their website, RiverBend Cancer Services offers programs for survivors of cancer designed to aid in readjustment to everyday life.

In cooperation with RecSports, a branch of RiverBend Cancer Services called Gyna-Girls will help organize the race on Saturday.

“We have about 70 volunteers,” Morneau said. “Inside, the Gyna-Girls … volunteer. They bring a bunch of their survivors.”

Half of the 70 volunteers are Notre Dame students, Morneau said. Most of those students will be at various places along the course, working to manage water stations.

“The Domer Run isn’t just Notre Dame,” she said. “It’s Michiana. I have a couple people registered that are all the way from Florida. People have heard about it, and anyone that is a survivor of cancer or had a scare like this, they want to support it and tell people, ‘Hey, it’s okay to go get checked out. You don’t need to be scared.’”

According to the RecSports website, each of the three offered routes — a six-mile run, three-mile run and two-mile walk — will take the runners through Notre Dame’s campus, starting on Irish Green near Eddy Street Commons.

However, the course will be slightly different than in past years.

“The course has been the same for so many years,” Morneau said. “But with all this construction, from this year forward for about four or five years, we’re going to have to do a new course every single year.”

While a few changes will need to be made to the course, RecSports has made an effort to preserve the tradition present in the run, Morneau said. She said the most iconic landmarks, like the lakes, will be included in the routes.

“The lakes are a big part of it,” Morneau said. “We always want to make sure that the participants get to run around the lakes. It’s a really beautiful spot to run around, especially in the fall.”

The course itself isn’t the only aspect of the race which is different this year. According to Morneau, the registration process has also changed.

“Usually we do it through RecRegister,” she said. “Anyone from the community would have to come in here to register. This way, we’re doing it through Raceentry.com. Doing it that way allows everyone to register.”

The new method of registration is more convenient and customer friendly, Morneau said. Although it is past the registration date, anyone looking to donate money may still do so by visiting www.raceentry.com.

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