We are excited to reveal this year’s T-shirt graphic design for the 2021 Miles for Meso 5k run/3k fun walk, which will be held virtually on Sept. 25, 2021. A long-sleeve T-shirt is included with every registration.
This year’s T-shirt design features the Piasa Bird, which references a local Native American legend that originates from the Illini tribe. A painting featuring the Piasa Bird is located on the bluffs just outside of Alton, Illinois, at the start of the Great River Road.
The term “Piasa” means a bird that devours men in the Illini village. The legend of the bird was first introduced to the western world in 1673, when explorers Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet described the creature in their journals as a “bird-like monster.” According to the Illini, the Piasa Bird had a reputation for carrying off humans.
Legend has it that a brave Illini chief named Quatoga offered himself as bait to the bird while twenty of his best warriors hid nearby. When the bird attacked Quatoga, the warriors pierced it with a barrage of arrows. The bird then screamed and disappeared into the depths of the Mississippi River, right where Father Marquette and Jolliet discovered the original painting.
Now the bird will appear on the Miles for Meso’s #Lucky13 T-shirt graphic. Featuring the Piasa Bird honors a long-standing legend in the Alton community, where the race was originally held 13 years ago.
The bird is also symbolic. As supporters of the Miles for Meso mission, we are all waging a battle against the monster of mesothelioma. Just like Chief Quatoga had his community of warriors surrounding him during his fight, so too do the mesothelioma warriors have their own community with Miles for Meso.
By registering for this year’s race and wearing the Piasa Bird T-shirt, you are saying that you are here, standing alongside all those who have fought and are currently fighting this terrible disease.
Regular registration for this year’s Miles for Meso race is open now through Sept. 10. Click here to register.