Wichita Race for the Cure to move downtown in 2014

11/14/2013 4:17 PM

11/14/2013 4:54 PM

The 2014 Wichita Race for the Cure, sponsored by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Mid-Kansas Affiliate, is moving downtown.

Next year’s race, on Sept. 27, will start and end at WaterWalk, 515 S. Main.

Lindsay Smith, state director of the organization, said the new location would help the race – which turns 25 in 2014 – grow.

For the past 24 years, the race has been held at Towne East Square, and the city of Eastborough helped host the event.

“The race has outgrown Eastborough,” Smith said. “Last year, we had 7,000 runners. We looked at staying at Towne East because we loved their parking lot, but you wouldn’t believe the number of streets you have to close to run through a residential area. It was hard to move the course in any different way.”

When the race is moved downtown, Smith said, she thinks the number of runners can potentially increase.

“We could easily accommodate 10,000 to 15,000 runners,” she said.

The first year the race was held, 1,500 runners participated.

“We are so grateful to Towne East and Eastborough for hosting the run as long as they did,” Smith said. “We simply outgrew the location.”

Downtown, the area near the Fountains at WaterWalk or the grassy area south of the Hyatt Regency Wichita would be an ideal location for the run to start and end, Smith said.

“To me, the river is one of Wichita’s huge assets,” Smith said. “We are looking at painting the downtown pink when we host this event. We are thinking we will do something to make this 25th anniversary run special and exciting.”

This past year, Smith said the organization was able to provide more than $345,000 in community grants to help in breast cancer screening, education and community outreach.

“We want our community grants to continue to grow, and the Wichita race is our largest fundraiser,” she said.

The Susan G. Komen foundation has evolved into one of the world’s largest organizations and networks in fighting and raising awareness about breast cancer.

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