Putnam City Schools will hold a 5-kilometer race and a 1-mile “fun run” on Nov. 13 at Stars and Stripes Park at Lake Hefner. Proceeds from the event will go to fund cancer research at OMRF.
This will be the third year for the PC Cancer Classic, which has continued to grow in size, said Jason Hasty, the district’s physical education coordinator and race organizer.
“We had 600 people come out to race the first year, but we’ve been growing steadily,” he said. “This year we’re already at 700 people signed up with a couple of weeks to go. I’m pushing to hit 1,000.”
The run is the latest addition to Putnam City’s efforts to raise money for OMRF. For 34 years, the district has challenged students, teachers and parents to raise money to fight cancer. Not only does it stoke friendly rivalry between the schools, it is a good teaching tool, Hasty said.
“The youngest kids don’t really understand what we’re doing, but we make it fun for them anyway,” Hasty said. “I try to relay the message to the older kids that at some point, someone in your family will be affected. And that’s why we’re all chipping in to try and find a cure.”
Since 1975, the district has raised more than $2.9 million to fight cancer, paying for laboratory equipment and supplies and funding the Putnam City Schools Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research at OMRF, which is held by Linda Thompson, Ph.D.
In turn, OMRF has continued with a series of cancer breakthroughs. In recent years, OMRF researchers have discovered genes linked to prostate and colon cancer, possible genetic therapies to make current treatments more effective and a drug candidate to fight a type of deadly brain cancer. And work in Thompson’s lab led to the world’s first genetic-based risk assessment test for breast cancer.
Entry forms for the PC Cancer Classic are available online at www.pccancerclassic.com. Runners can sign up in advance online or at Putnam City High School on Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Media Center. There will also be race-day registration from 7 to 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 13 at Stars and Stripes Park on Lake Hefner. Runners who register online are entered for a chance to win an iPod Shuffle.
For more information, contact Lauren Nettleton at (405) 271-7400 or at Lauren-Nettleton@omrf.org.