BY MOLLIE S. WATERS
The Greenville Standard
The My Cancer Hero 5K race is back! The “6th Annual Abbie Gardner Ballew, State Farm Insurance, My Cancer Hero 5K Run/Walk” is set for Saturday, May 1.
“I started this annual race event six years ago because I wanted a way for our community to come together and honor those who have battled cancer,” said event organizer Abbie Gardner Ballew.
“My daddy, Jimmy Gardner, lost his battle with cancer the year before we did the first event, and it made me really think about ways to honor not only him, but all of our cancer heroes.”
Cancer has certainly left its mark on Ballew’s family.
“My mom and aunt are cancer survivors,” said Ballew. “I lost both of my grandfathers to cancer, and I walked through two different cancers with one of my best friends, who beat them both by the way!
“I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been touched by cancer in some form, and this is just a small way to say ‘we see you, we love you, we will walk with you!’”
The pre-registration fee is $25. Shirts are included with race packets.
According to Ballew, the race will take place on May 1 at 7:30 a.m. with the start at Greenville City Hall. Pickup/late registration begins at 7 a.m.
The route will go to Balaclava Drive before circling back to downtown.
She added that medals will be given to the first and second place overall finishers, plus first place for male and female in each age division. There are categories for people ages 10 and up.
In addition to the race, representatives for the Alabama National Guard will have events in the park for kids before, during, and after the race, plus they will sponsor a breakfast for the racers when they finish.
There are several ways one can register for the race.
“Register by calling my office at 334-382-6561 or coming by 840 Fort Dale Road,” said Ballew.
“I can also email a race form; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Plus, you can register on active.com.
“You can also register on the day of the event for $35, but you will not be guaranteed a shirt.”
For those who want to support the event but do not wish to participate in it, Ballew encourages people to still come out and show their support for cancer awareness.
“We would love for people to hold up signs and cheer along the route!” said Ballew.