Hundreds of Santa Barbara residents and cancer survivors will be running in Montecito this Sunday to raise money for local cancer research.
Organized by the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, the event will include a 10-kilometer run, a five-kilometer walk and a separate race for children. The event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical research in years past.
Cancer survivor and runner Jaime Laguette-Stevens said the money has helped advance local efforts to fight cancer.
“Words cannot begin to express the benefits I have received from the funds made available at the local level,” Laguette-Stevens said. “Local funds have enabled the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara to remain in the cutting edge of comprehensive outpatient cancer treatment, obtain the latest cancer technology, recruit and retain top personnel from some of the nation’s top medical programs and, most importantly, offer integrative wellness and patient support programs.”
Since its founding, the 17th Annual Cancer Center Walk/Run has raised roughly $1.8 million. Last year, the race brought in $183,000.
Many participants in the race have been personally affected by cancer. For survivors of the life-threatening disease, Laguette-Stevens said finishing a long race is an incredible experience.
“Honestly, even though it is only 10K, when I hit that finish line I feel like I have run a marathon,” Laguette-Stevens said. “Not only physically, due to treatment, but emotionally, given all the words of encouragement and all the high-fives from the many volunteers.”
A total of 16 teams of runners have signed up to participate. Runners will wear blue, pink and yellow ribbons to signify different kinds of cancer.
While many race participants have personal experience with cancer, race director Stephanie Carlyle said she encourages everyone to get involved in the event.
“Even if participants are not affected by cancer and the raise is not directly helping them right now…it could help them, a family member, a friend or a neighbor in the future,” Carlyle said.
Organizers expect nearly 800 people to attend Sunday’s event. The 10-kilometer race begins at 8 a.m., the five-kilometer walk/run at 8:30 a.m. and the children’s event at 10 a.m.