Thousands pack Ottumwa Park to Race for the Cure

Thousands pack Greater Ottumwa Park for 17th annual Race for the Cure.

The 17th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure took place in Ottumwa Park this morning.

Over 2,000 participants came out in support of their family, friends and loved one affected by breast cancer. Others were survivors themselves. This yearâ??s honorary survivor Laura Salter triggered a shotgun in the air, signaling the walkers and runners to take off for the 5K. Prior to the main event, people could take part in a mile run for fun and a light warm-up. The race takes place each year the Saturday before Motherâ??s Day. Race organizers say the event also is a platform for bringing awareness to the devastating disease.

â??You know, we think about breast cancer as being something just as a woman's illness, Race Director Tom Schafer said. â??This year over 4,000 men are going to be diagnosed with breast cancer, so it happens with both sexes.â??

Funds from Race for the Cure go to breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment to all of Southeast Iowa.