Local Relay for Life Plans New ‘Fight Back 5K’

This year’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is set for June 7-8 at East Ridge High School.

The Relay for Life of South Washington County asks people to walk, relay-style, around the track at East Ridge High School in Woodbury.

But those looking for more of a challenge during the event can take part in a new “Fight Back 5K” being organized in conjunction with this year’s Relay.

The Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and the local event has been the top money earner in the state over the past three years.

Patch asked Dave Olson, a volunteer, about this year's Relay for Life and upcoming 5K.

Woodbury Patch: What are the details for the 2013 Relay for Life?

Dave Olson: This year’s Relay is June 7 and 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. at East Ridge High School. The last three years, the Relay for Life of South Washington County has been the No. 1 Relay in Minnesota based on dollars raised. In 2012, we raised over $260,000 in the fight against cancer.

On Sunday, May 5, we will be holding our fourth Bark for Life event at Hamlet Park in Cottage Grove from 2-5 p.m. BFL is a companion event to Relay and it is great opportunity to recognize dogs as canine caregivers. During our BFL, owners and their dogs can walk the path, participate in activities and contests and just meet other dog lovers. It is only $10 to participate. You can register online on the website. One of our title sponsors this year is Hudson Road Animal Hospital in Woodbury.

Patch: What's the scoop with the upcoming 5K?

Olson: The Fight Back 5K is a new event this year. It will be held in conjunction with our Relay. It will be held at 6 a.m. on Saturday, June 8. Our goal behind introducing this new event to get people moving and getting fit. The Relay is partnering with the YMCA of Woodbury. Beginning Saturday, April 15, the YMCA will be hosting a weekly group run and talk about helpful training tips. The run and training program are open to all age and skill levels. 

The entry fee for the Fight Back 5K is $25 or it is free for Relay participants who have collected over $250 in donations. The training program is $25, payable to the YMCA. For more details and to register, check out this website.

Patch: Why do you Relay?

Olson: I Relay for my wife and daughters. My wife Pam is a seven-year colon cancer survivor. She is my Hero of Hope. It is because of the American Cancer Society that we were able to get answers and support in her cancer journey. As we continue to raise important dollars in the fight against cancer, I hope my daughters will never have to hear the words “You have cancer.” The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is about “Every Cancer, Every Community, Every Day.”

Patch: What’s new for this year’s event?

Olson: New at this year's Relay is the theme: “We Stand Together.” Relay for Life is held in 21 countries about the world. We are encourage teams to pick one of the countries and decorate their campsites and just have fun with it.

Patch: Anything else we should know?

Olson: In addition to Relay, the Fight Back 5K and Bark for Life, we are also promoting CPS-3. It is the Cancer Prevention Study-3. In short, the American Cancer Society is trying to enroll individuals to participate in a 20-year study. The Woodbury enrollment will be Thursday, June 20, at Woodwinds Hospital. The website is www.cps3twincities.org. On the website, you can register for one of the enrollment sites throughout the Twin Cities.


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