HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – With more than 3,000 runners and walkers, Sunday’s PATH to the Cure event was the largest 5K in Huntington’s history, and race organizers say it may be the largest ever held in West Virginia.
“This event is not just a 5K,” Angela Henderson-Bentley, an organizer with St. Mary’s Medical Center, said. “It's about so much more. It's about celebrating women; it's about celebrating healthy lifestyles.”
The event raises money for breast cancer awareness and prevention.
100 percent of the proceeds from the event stay local, with 80 percent going to St. Mary’s Pink Ribbon Fund which provides mammograms for women who can’t afford them. The other 20 percent goes toward the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health.
“Glad to see the turnout of Huntington, like let’s get healthy, Tri-State,” Summer LoCascio, who is running for her aunt with breast cancer, said.
LoCascio said this race is her seventh 5K since May. She showed up with two other women who were running for their friend, a cancer survivor who lives in Huntington.
“It's wonderful for Huntington and great cause to be here for,” Michelle Marcum said.
“It's a huge impact on the city and that's why we were so happy to have Mayor Steve Williams and the city of Huntington to be so involved,” Henderson-Bentley said. “[Mayor Williams] gets it. We always say, ‘Do they get it?’ He gets it.”
Henderson-Bentley noted that the goal was to raise $100,000 and that they think they met that goal with the number of people involved in the race. Plus, she said, the economic impact on the city itself is positive.
“We have all of these people that are here. They probably ate before they came here, they're probably going to eat afterwards, after the concert,” Henderson-Bentley said. “A lot of people are staying in the hotels.”
The concert featured country music singer Kellie Pickler. Anyone who had a bib number and registered for the event received free entry to the concert, held at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
“I'm glad I finished and I hope all the cancer people feel better,” Noah Weinsweig, 8, said. He told WSAZ.com it was his first time running in this race.