For the 10th year in a row, when participants in the Susan G. Komen NC Triangle to the Coast Race for the Cure get to the parking areas for the yearly breast cancer fundraising event, they’ll find GoTriangle buses waiting to transport them to and from the starting line.
The 2019 race is Saturday, and this year those buses will be operated by the four lucky people whose names were drawn in a raffle at GoTriangle’s bus operations facility. Each year, so many operators want to participate in the community event that supervisor Robin Leonard has to let many of them down.
“It’s funny how it works out sometimes,” says Leonard, who always lets someone else do the drawing lest anyone think she’s playing favorites. “I always say the ones who need to be there this year will be the ones who get picked. Some people do really like being a part of it, which is great. Well, a lot of them do actually.”
As of Wednesday, about 5,500 people had signed up for the event, which opens at 7:30 a.m. at the Frontier in Research Triangle Park. Online registration lasts until 11:59 p.m. Friday, and people can still sign up in person Saturday morning, so organizers expect that number to grow.
A timed 5K race starts at 8 a.m., and a celebration of survivors and metastatic breast cancer “thrivers” and a fun walk will follow.
Nearly 500 of the 2019 participants are breast cancer survivors or thrivers, almost double the number who participated in last year’s race, according to Krista Park Berry, communications and marketing manager for the race. Altogether, about 4,600 people participated last year.
“We’ve enjoyed 10 years of great service and safety for our annual Triangle Race for the Cure participants and their supporters,” says Pam Kohl, executive director at Susan G. Komen NC Triangle to the Coast. “Simply put, our event could not be possible without the generous support of GoTriangle. We are grateful for their long-time partnership and for their continued support of our work to end breast cancer for good.”
The GoTriangle bus operators who get to provide that service this year are Denise Evans, Linda Jennings, Kenneth Richardson and Miguel Benitez. Samuel Whitney will be volunteering as a dispatcher.
Leonard, who has worked at GoTriangle 17 years, has been coordinating the agency’s participation for the past eight years.
“Once I start getting into all of the logistics of it, my passion piques right up again,” Leonard says. “And then just seeing the participants dressed in the fun apparel, seeing the struggle, and it’s a real struggle for some when they come back to get on the bus … Some of them are fighting for their lives and some are survivors. There are people out there who have lost loved ones who are passionate about keeping their names alive. It makes me feel like I’m contributing something to the cause.”
IF YOU GO
- What: 2019 Komen Triangle Race for the Cure
- When: 7:30 a.m., Saturday, May 4
- Where: The Frontier, Research Triangle Park, 800 Park Offices Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
- More information: bit.ly/gokomen19
About Susan G. Komen® and Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Komen NC Triangle to the Coast is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community. Komen NC Triangle to the Coast has invested more than $13 million in community breast health programs in its 29-county service area and has helped contribute over $5 million to the more than $988 million invested globally in research. For more information, call 919-493-2873 or visit komennctc.org.