Miles for Meso 5K Raises $25,000 for Mesothelioma, Rare Asbestos Cancer

All proceeds benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

ALTON, Ill., Sept. 25, 2012 –The 4th Annual Miles for Meso, a 5K race and walk presented by Simmons Hanly Conroy, has raised $25,000 to support research for mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Since the Alton, Ill., race started in 2009, it has raised nearly $100,000 for mesothelioma research.

More than 700 people participated in the event, including patients and families affected by the disease. “This year’s Miles for Meso was a resounding success,” said Gregg Kirkland, Simmons Hanly Conroy CEO. “Thanks to the support of everyone who attended, our volunteers and our sponsors, this event continues to help raise awareness about the horrible disease of mesothelioma.”

All proceeds benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a national charity focused on mesothelioma research and patient support. Since the Foundation started in 2000, the Firm has been its top cumulative donor.

The money was raised through a combination of registrations fees, personal donations and sponsorships, including the event’s Gold Sponsors: Fathom Online Marketing, First Clover Leaf Bank, and Jenner & Block.

“This was the first year we separated the 5K Race and the Elite Race,” said Race Director Mike Wever. “A lot of people said they enjoyed the chance to watch the elite runners compete. It’s not something you see every day.”

In addition to the race, spectators enjoyed a performance by the Jesse White Tumbling Team, children’s activities, and a live band. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White addressed the crowd before taking part in the tumbling performance.

Professional runners from around the world competed in the Elite event. The draw was the largest fall 5K purse in the Midwest with more than $6,200 up for grabs. First through fifth finishers in the Elite 5K men’s and women’s divisions were awarded cash prizes of $1,500, $750, $500, $250, and $100.

Hirut Mandefro, of Ethiopia, claimed first place with a time of 16:08. She set a new course record, surpassing the previous record of 16:16 set by Stephanie Pezzullo in 2011 by eight seconds. Mandefro received an additional $500 bonus for setting a new course record.

“The Elite women runners were considerably faster this year,” said Wever. “Not only was a new course record set for the women, but all top five runners scored faster times than the top five runners from 2011.”
Chemtai Rionotukei, of Kenya, took second with 16:14, also surpassing the old course record. Marion Kandie, of Kenya, placed third with 16:35; Lydia Kosgei, of Kenya, took fourth at 16:36; and Rebeka Stowe, of the United States, placed fifth with 16:42.

In the men’s divisions, Julius Bor, from the United States, finished first with a time of 13:59; George Towett, of Kenya, took second at 14:01; Marofit Mourad, of Morocco, finished third with 14:04; Christian Hesch, of the United States, finished fourth with 14:07; and Elkanah Kibet, of Kenya, finished fifth with a time of 14:10.

For complete race results, visit the Miles for Meso race results page at