MOUNT VERNON — It was a race for colon cancer research, screening and care for patients of the disease. The 5K run and walk was held Sunday afternoon at the Knox County Fairgrounds, under the umbrella of the national organization “Get Your Rear in Gear,” based in Minneapolis, Minn.
The race is only five years old. Program director Lisa Sanderson, who came to Mount Vernon for the race, said the group has raised $850,000 from running events acoss the United States. Sanderson said 25 percent of the money raised in the events goes to the national organization. The remaining 75 percent from the Ohio race will go the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.
The Knox County event is the only one in Ohio and is chaired by Sarah Hohman of Mount Vernon, a sophmore nursing student at Capital University. Hohman said a search on the Internet turned up the Get Your Rear In Gear cancer support program, and she volunteered to head it. This is the second year a race has been held in Knox County. Donations of $20 were given by the runners and walkers to enter the event. There were 20 runners and 140 walkers on the course inside the fairgrounds.
In addition to the individual runners, a team ran in memory of Rich Daubenmier, a colon cancer victim. First place for men and women runners went to the mother-and-son duo of Cathy and Ben Gillen.
Ben, 13, a cross country runner at Mount Vernon Middle School, finished the course, which included two hills, in 23:33. His mom, who runs a couple of races a year, finished in 25:53. The walkers took more than an hour to complete the 5K. Hohman had 30 volunteers to help organize and run the event.