February 18, 2014
For-Profit Fun Runs Come Under the Microscope
When You Lace Up Your Shoes For Your Next Run, Know Why You’re Doing It
February 18, 2014) Washington, DC – The ever-growing “fun run” craze is sweeping Philadelphia and the rest of the nation. Whether it is a Turkey Trot to burn calories before you indulge or a Resolution Run to ring in the New Year – these events are certainly gaining popularity. A fun time paired with supporting a good cause can be the perfect motivation to lace up your shoes. But, do you know what your money is actually going toward?
Participants are starting to ask these types of questions because many races are now being organized by for-profit companies. In fact, these runs grew to about 2 million participants in 2012, nearly doubling from 2011. What used to be hinged on road races raising funds for charity has turned into a for-profit game of who can walk away with the biggest pay-out. And the potential is huge, considering the most popular endurance runs bring in up to $50 million in annual revenue.
That’s where the controversy can arise. Many people gearing up for nontraditional races assume a portion of their registration fee goes to charity – but that’s not always the case. In a time when trendy for-profit runs are attracting some stark criticism , the conversations raise the question: do you know where your race money is going?
You do when you participate in the Colon Cancer Alliance’s Undy 5000 5K Walk/Run , a national 5K series asking you to grab an underwear-themed outfit and hit the pavement for a cause you can get behind – saving lives.
Recently, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania was presented with a check for $13,315 raised through the 6th annual local Undy 5000 to support their West Philadelphia Access and Outreach Program. The program is the first colon cancer screening navigation program to serve West Philadelphia. The grant will be used to eliminate barriers to screening for the local population like lack of transportation, inability to pay for prep and other factors. All told, the Colon Cancer Alliance has donated more than $550,000 to local partners through its Undy 5000.
“To date, 225 patients who previously could not complete a colonoscopy due to an array of screening barriers have been able to complete a colonoscopy,” says Dr. Carmen Guerra, Associate Chief of Staff at Abramson Cancer Center. “Of these patients, 75 had an adenomatous polyp which may have become cancerous. Three patients were found to have colorectal cancer and are receiving treatment.”
“We’re working to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers,” says Eric Hargis, Colon Cancer Alliance CEO. “Every dollar raised through the Undy 5000 goes toward that lifesaving mission. Partnering with groups like Abramson Cancer Center allows us a greater reach into local communities and together, we’re increasing prevention and raising awareness of this disease.”
When you lace up your sneakers for a local Undy 5000 run, you know what you’re running for. The 2014 Philadelphia Undy 5000 is September 13th. Registration will be available soon at undy5000.org .
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The Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. This mission is being accomplished by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services. Learn more at ccalliance.org.
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania is a world leader in cancer research, patient care and education. The pre-eminent position of the Cancer Center is reflected in its continuous designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute since 1973, one of 41 such Centers in the United States. For more information on Abramson Cancer Center, visit penncancer.org.