Gymnastics Volunteers at Race for the Cure
June 13, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C.-- Waking up at 5:30 a.m. to volunteer is not something that you typically see amongst college-aged students, but that is exactly what the gymnastics team did last Saturday. The squad volunteered at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, held Saturday June, 9 2012 at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.
The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has been in existence since 1983, with the first race in Raleigh held in 1997, according to Angie Porter, the race manager.
The team decided to volunteer at the event after a friend of NC State assistant coach Colleen Johnson asked if the team would be interested in helping out. After speaking with the team, the decision to volunteer was unanimous.
"I think it was an eye opener for the girls," said Johnson. "I think they realized how many people from a variety of ages, sizes, and shapes are affected by breast cancer."
Members of the team were assigned to be supporters of the race, and encourage the participants while they were running. They also congratulated those that participated as they crossed the finish line.
Most NCAA gymnastics programs have started to partner with the breast cancer initiative by hosting a charitable meet during the season. State hosts an annual Sweetheart Invitational, and donates proceeds from the meet to fund breast cancer research, and help raise awareness.
The Race for the Cure consisted of a competitive open 5K (co-ed) at 7 a.m., followed by a women's only 5K run/walk at 7:45 a.m. At 8:45 a.m. there was a recreational open 5K run/walk (co-ed) and then a one-mile fun run/walk, which was also co-ed.
"I didn't mind waking up that early knowing that we were going to do something to help other people," said junior gymnast Kristen Harabedian. "It was great to see that there were so many people there that were running or walking for this cause. It was just incredible to see and be a part of."
There were more than 500 volunteers the day of the race, and about an additional 300 helped with pre-race preparation. This year's race had more than 15,000 participants, and helped raise more than a million dollars, according to Porter. If you missed this year's event, the next race will be held on June 8th in 2013.