The Ottumwa Courier

May 13, 2013

Race for the Cure endures chilly weekend

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Hundreds of people endured cold winds Saturday in Ottumwa Park.

Why would they do this? Because the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was there. They crowded into the Jimmy Jones Shelter House and waited for an event, whether it was the one-mile Family Run/Walk, the Co-Ed 5K Run/Walk or the Kids' Fun Run.

Ryan Mitchell of Ottumwa was the first racer to cross the finish line. Some call him "Iron Man" because he runs in a lot of races. Why does he run so much?

"It's just great to run," he said and trotted toward the shelter house.

Connie Wilson of Ottumwa  said she has been involved with the Race for 10 years.

"People love it," she added.

Julie Smithart of Ottumwa was at the Race because she's volunteer worker for Red Cross and has hleped with disasters. She also noted volunteers Jim and Mary Lou Mason are Red Cross voluntters who have helped with various kinds of emergencies.

Wilson said the turnout for the race was "great," especially the numerous volunteers who helped with nearly everything at the Race celebration.

Kathy Burris of Ottumwa is a medical  professional and participated in the Race festivities. Why?

"Because of all the special people I've known," she said.

Burris also noted she works out and runs so she can be ready for the Race for the Cure.

Jean Stogdill of Bloomfield comes to Ottumwa for the Race for the Cure because her son works at John Deere Ottumwa Works and she has a lot of friends and family in the Ottumwa area. Stogdill also noted 1998 was the year for her "event."

"The doctor said we had to do something right away," Stogdill said. "So I had the surgery before the mammogram."

Julie Smithart of Ottumwa was at the Race because she's a volunteer worker for Red Cross and has helped with disasters. She also noted volunteers Jim and Mary Lou Mason are Red Cross volunteers who have helped with various disaster calls.

Wilson said the turnout for the race was "great," especially the numerous volunteers who participated.

Laura Salter of Ottumwa was this year's honorary survivor.

"It was an honor to be chosen and I don't know who chose me," she said. "But they approached me about being the honorary survivor."

Salter spoke at the Survivor Luncheon and was given a lot more special attention, including a plane ticket to fly to Washington, D.C., for the global Race for the Cure.

"It was a prepaid round trip to use in the next coming year," she said. "Sometimes I think -- How did all this happen? It's incredible what people do in their spare time and want nothing for it."

Laurie Hornback of Hedrick chaired this year's event and last year's race. She said every woman must be on top of "being aware and conscious of her body's changes."

"Don't kid yourself that the small hard place in your breast is nothing," Hornback said. "Be pro-active."

And, more than one health provider noted women aren't the only ones who can have lumpy problems in their breasts. Men can have those, too.