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Racing awareness
by Garrett Valenzuela
Jun 18, 2012 | 1517 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Nearly 50 local youths participated in the Kids Run for Fun at the Sparks Marina Sunday morning. The short race was held after the Dash for Dads 5K run and walk. Organizers called the inaugural event a dashing success.
SPARKS — About 500 dads, moms and children showed their support of prostate health on Father’s Day by lacing up their sneakers and trekking around the Sparks Marina in the Dash for Dads 5K on Sunday.

The Builders Association Charity hosted the inaugural charity run and walk in hopes of raising awareness of prostate health and providing funding to prostate cancer research. Bobbie Merrigan, executive director of the Builders Association Charity, said prostate cancer can be a silent killer for men who do not discover they have the disease early in life.

“Men are not like women when it comes to embracing a sickness they have. They don’t really want other people to know they have a problem,” Merrigan said. “This event shows them they are not alone and they have plenty of resources around them.”

The Builders Association partnered with Urology Nevada to give participants “goodie bags” that contained, among other things, a coupon for a self prostate-specific antigen (PSA) exam. Merrigan said the free exam and information about prostate health is the biggest key to helping men be proactive about their prostate health.

“My children asked me ‘what’s a success today’ and I told them if we save one person’s life today then we have done something great,” she said. “We hope people think this was a good event and that they will want to continue helping others.”

The five-kilometer run was underway at 9 a.m. as runners made their way around the marina followed by participants who chose to walk the five kilometers. A kids Run for Fun was also held at the peninsula of the Marina, where children 10 years old and younger sprinted 526 feet. According to Merrigan, many of the runners were participating because of family members who had been affected by prostate cancer. Some participants, however, were walking for fun.

Colleen Bazur, an employee of Urology Nevada, and her husband Guy walked with their grandchild in a stroller during the seond portion. The Bazur’s both work in the field of medicine and Colleen said she has heard confusion about prostate health and sickness.

“It’s virtually painless and you don’t know something is wrong until it is too late,” she said. “The PSA test gives the earliest detection of a problem, but they will eventually need a biopsy if they wait too long.”

Dash for Dads catered to families in providing face-painting and bounce houses, which Merrigan said will help bring more families out next year. She estimated the event earned $30,000 in support of its cause.

“It’s important for the kids to be engaged and for it to be something they can do as a family,” she said. “When families can do something like this together, it forms habits they can carry with them and hopefully make a healthier northern Nevada.”

Merrigan said that a change of venue could be in the cards for next year’s event to accommodate more serious runners who requested a possible half marathon race. A collection of the funds raised for the race and sponsorships from Urology Nevada, Scheels, and others will benefit prostate cancer research and help provide free PSA screenings for men over 40.
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