CORONAVIRUS

Pandemic moves annual Especially For You race online

For the first time, participants will not gather in person for annual October event

Walkers approach the finish line of the family fun walk route on 12th Avenue SE during the Especially For You Race Again
Walkers approach the finish line of the family fun walk route on 12th Avenue SE during the Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer in Cedar Rapids on Oct. 6, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — For the first time ever, the Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer will happen virtually.

As a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Mercy Medical Center’s annual fundraiser for breast cancer treatment won’t happen in person, officials announced.

Though the race was canceled once before due to hazardous weather, 2020 will be the only time since the race’s inception that participants will not be able to physically participate, according to officials.

The 30th annual event is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 11.

The 2019 event saw more than 14,000 runners and walkers.

“The safety of our participants and our community is our top priority,” EFY race director Jeff Decker said in a news release. “As a health care provider, Mercy has been closely monitoring the virus and following CDC guidelines to continue to limit its spread. This has been a guiding consideration as we put race plans in place.

“Most important, we will still be keeping true to our mission to help local individuals in need get the services they need.”

Proceeds from the race will continue to go to the Especially For You Fund, which offers financial assistance to local residents for breast care and gynecological cancer services. The fund also covers breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer services at certain local medical providers.

“These are challenging times and individuals in our community need help now more than ever,” Dr. Vincent Reid, medical director at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center, said in the release. “We look forward to supporting and honoring those who have fought the disease, as well as those individuals currently battling breast cancer.”

Team registration is open until Sept. 15.

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Individual registration is available online until race day on Oct. 11. Full pricing details can be found on the Especially For You website.

Mercy Medical Center and General Mills co-founded the Especially For You race, which held its first event in 1991. The race and its fund is dedicated to Sandy Knight, a General Mills employee who died of breast cancer in 1991.

Comments: (319) 398-8469; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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