Race prep heading for finish line

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Preparations for the 2001 Tupelo Komen Race for the Cure are pulling into the home stretch.

So far, everything looks great for the 5K run/walk which will be held Oct. 27 at the Mall at Barnes Crossing, said Patti Coggins, race chairwoman, who is also a breast cancer survivor.

"The response has been good," Coggins said.

This year, men will be joining women on the course for the first time.

"It's too early to tell how many men plan to turn out," Coggins said. "I think we'll have a great response."

Although the 5K run/walk is at the heart of the Race for the Cure, there is a family-friendly festival that surrounds the entire event.

"There will always be something going on at the race site," Coggins said. "Even if you're not a runner or a walker, you can be part of the race."

Anyone who pays the registration fee can get a T-shirt and a bag of goodies. Sponsors also will have give-aways at the race site.

All registered participants are eligible to win door prizes including one round trip on American Airlines anywhere in the continental United States.

To keep the good times rolling two local bands also will be providing entertainment.

Kaleidoscope will take the stage at 8:15 a.m., and The Gants will play at 8:45 a.m.

The goal is to raise $65,000 for breast cancer research and education. Seventy-five percent of the money raised remains in Northeast Mississippi and is used for local programs that educate women about breast cancer and provide mammograms to the medically underserved.

The remainder goes to the Komen Foundation to support a national grant program for breast cancer research.

Last year, the race raised a total of $60,000, out of which $44,000 remained in the area.

Registration forms are available at J.C. Penney's catalog department, Applebee's, the NMMC Cancer Center and Women's Hospital in Tupelo and Gilmore Memorial Hospital in Amory. Entry forms are also available at wellness centers at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Clay County Medical Center in West Point, Iuka Hospital, Pontotoc, and Marion Regional Medical Center in Hamilton, Ala.

Online registration is available at www.active.com.

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