ALTON, Ill., June 23, 2011 – The 3rd Annual Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Walk – nationally sponsored and locally hosted Sept. 24 in Alton, Ill., by the Firm – has expanded to include $6,200 in prize money for top performers to build awareness of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
“The amount of prize money offered through the 2011 Miles for Meso Race and Walk is truly significant for a 5K race,” said Mike Wever, president of the Metro Tri Club and race director for Miles for Meso. “Awards will go to the top five runners in the male and female categories instead of three, and racers will enjoy a specially designed course through beautiful Alton, Ill., complete with river views and historic, bricked-lined hills that will challenge even professional runners.”
A total of $6,200 will be awarded to the top five male and top five female place winners of the timed 5K race, for a total of 10 places with cash prizes. First place male and female winnings will increase to $1,500; second place to $750; and third place to $500. In addition, race organizers have extended the number of places eligible for monetary winnings: fourth place will win $250, and fifth place will take home $100. Three $100 giveaways will be drawn for the remaining participants.
“This race is a great example of rewarding top runners in the event while raising funds and awareness for an important cause,” said Jean Knaack, executive director of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), which sanctioned the race.
“Our goal is to host an event to raise money for mesothelioma research and educate participants about this devastating, global asbestos-related disease,” said Mike Angelides, managing partner of the Firm. “This year’s 2011 Miles for Meso race has been expanded to include more prizes and community activities for participants to enjoy.”
Race organizers have been working with the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau and city officials in an effort to plan the race. The city of Alton has approved street closures along the race route and will provide police blockades for safety purposes. The Alton Visitors Bureau will offer travel packages for out-of-town race participants, including discounts at area hotels, car rentals and restaurants.
Area attractions and festivities the weekend of Sept. 24-25 include miles of beautiful running trails along the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway from Alton to Pere Marquette State Park, the home of one of the toughest trail runs in the Midwest; the final Alton Block Party, a street festival featuring live music and food in downtown Alton; and, just in time for Halloween, guided ghost tours through the McPike Mansion and Mineral Springs Mall, which have earned Alton the title as “One of the Most Haunted Small Towns in America.”
Simmons Hanly Conroy Chairman and CEO John Simmons said expanding the Alton Miles for Meso race makes sense in light of the firm’s recent move to Alton, its philanthropic mission to mesothelioma research and asbestos awareness, and the positive impact expansion could have for area business.
Since 2009, the Alton Miles for Meso race has raised approximately $75,000 for mesothelioma research. Cumulatively, the charity has raised more than $125,000. All proceeds from the Miles for Meso races must benefit a nonprofit group whose goal is to help mesothelioma patients either by offering patient support services, funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research, or promoting awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos exposure.
To register for this year’s race, click here.
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, the Simmons law firm, 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 and Florida. Additional 2011 races are pending in Texas, California and Massachusetts.