Nearly 5,000 people are expected to meet Saturday at Memorial Stadium to participate in Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, a fundraising race in its 17th year.
The race consists of people in teams and individuals who donated at least $25 to participate. About 240 people will wear red shirts to mark their status as cancer survivors.
Bloomington Hosptial Foundation’s special events manager Lauren Baxter said she expects the total number of cancer survivors present will be more than 240.
“Two hundred and forty-three have registered online,” Baxter said. “But there will probably be more because there are paper applications as well.”
Normally, the race begins each year’s opening ceremonies with a balloon release in honor of those who have died from cancer. Normally the emcee coordinates this part of the ceremony, but Baxter said that would not be the case this year.
“This year Coach Hoeppner’s family will be leading the balloon release in his honor,” Baxter said.
Terry Hoeppner was IU’s football coach from 2005-2006. Hoeppner went on medical leave during the spring practices of 2007 due to brain cancer. After planning to sit out the entire 2007 season, Hoeppner died in June of that year due to complications related to the brain cancer.
“It’s going to be very special to have them with us,” Baxter said.
She said many of the teams and individuals running the race have known people with cancer and often run in their memory.
“You’re hard-pressed to find someone whose life hasn’t been affected by cancer,” Baxter said.
A team honoring former Maurer School of Law Dean Leonard Fromm will also be in the race. Fromm died of cancer in 2013.
“There are a lot of University-affiliated teams in the race,” Baxter said.
Additionally, IU’s football team will also be present at the race. Baxter said the team is a big hit with kids, who take ribbons the team passes out to them.
“They’re in uniform, and the kids just love it,” Baxter said.
The race will follow generally the same course that it always does, but this year participants will be able to take advantage of the expansion of Woodlawn Avenue.
“It’s just going to be fun business as usual,” Baxter said.
Proceeds from the race are donated to IU Health’s Olcott Center, a cancer-treatment center that offers its services for free.