Early registration now open for September 5K race
Registration for the Fifth Annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K & 2K Fun Run/Walk is now open. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Over the past five years, the Alton race has raised $100,000 to benefit mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure that kills 10,000 Americans annually. Miles for Meso races have been held across the country from New York, to Florida to Washington state and many places in between. Together, they have raised more than $300,000 for cancer research. The event is being hosted by Simmons Hanly Conroy and organized by Metro Tri Club.
“This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Alton Miles for Meso race,” said Firm CEO Gregg Kirkland. “When the firm committed to raising funds and awareness of mesothelioma through 5K races 5 years ago, we had no idea how much the program would grow.”
This year, elite athletes will race for a $10,000 purse, an increase from last year’s $6,200. The top ten 5K elite race finishers in both the elite men’s and women’s categories will receive cash prizes, with a first place prize of $2,000. Similarly, the top three winners of the 5K Run will win cash prizes, $250 for a first place finish, $150 for second, and $100 for third.
The event is split into two separate races. The Age Group 5K race and 2K Fun Run/Walk begin at 8:30 a.m. and are geared toward amateur and recreational runners and walkers. The elite 5K race follows at 9:30 a.m. Separating the two events will allows age group runners and walkers to watch the professional runners compete, according to Race Director Mike Wever. Wever encourages residents and other community members to line the streets to cheer on and support the runners.
“With its views of the Mississippi River and challenging hills, the course is a unique experience for runners of all experience levels,” Wever said. “The elite competition is always exciting. They get faster every year and continue to set new records.”
Last year, Hirut Mandefro of Ethiopia claimed first place with a time of 16:08, a new course record for the women’s division. Any runner who sets a new course record will be awarded a cumulative $500 cash bonus. This means the record breaking bonus for the women’s division is $500 and the bonus for the men’s division is $1,000.
“Our ultimate goal is to appeal to professional runners, walkers and families and bring more awareness to this rare cancer,” Kirkland said.
The race takes place at the Firm’s Alton office at 1 Court Street. Registration costs $25 through Aug. 31 and increases to $30 through Sept. 13 and is $35 on race day.
All proceeds from the Miles for Meso races will go to mesothelioma cancer research. Because this year is the 5th annual race, a “$5 for 5” donation campaign is taking place. On the PDF registration form, registrants are asked to donate an extra $5 in celebration of the fifth year. Corporate sponsorships are available through Aug. 21. A $100 donation will also reserve a table during the race’s popular vendor fair.
About Miles for Meso:
Miles for Meso is an initiative of the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation that was established in 2009 to raise funds and awareness for mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Nearly 3,000 new Americans develop this relatively unknown cancer every year. National sponsor, Simmons Hanly Conroy, established the Alton, Ill., race as the program’s flagship race. The charity has helped others host Miles for Meso races in several states including Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Washington, New York and Florida.
Learn more at www.milesformeso.org.