McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

September 4, 2013

Mustache run and Wellness Center Health Fair on Sept. 21

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — The McAlester Regional Health Center and Wellness Center, in partnership with the Pittsburg County Health Department and City of McAlester, will hold a 5K “Mustache Run” fundraiser on Sept. 21. Proceeds from the run will go towards prostate cancer research at the American Cancer Society.

Interested runners need not have mustaches to compete.

“We’re hoping to have men and women run in our run,” Kimberly Thornton, membership coordinator for the Wellness Center, said Wednesday. “We have a 5K run, plus a one-mile fun run or walk, and you can participate in both.”

Thornton said the race’s name was inspired by September being National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Because prostate cancer almost exclusively affects men, Thornton said, the Wellness Center wanted to name the race after a form of facial hair also almost exclusively grown by men.

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. on Larry Ketchum Boulevard. Runners will travel down Monroe Avenue, take 5th Street to Polk Avenue, cut across Strong Boulevard and around the McAlester Public Schools campus, take Van Buren Avenue to Industrial Road and then turn around and return to the Wellness center.

The race will finish on a grassy knoll near the Urgent Care section of the MRHC.

“We’re starting and finishing at the same place,” Wellness Center director Carolyn Davidson said.

A large tent containing the Health Fair will be near the finish. A mustache contest will take place at the fair, and two winners will get gift certificates for a year of free mustache- and beard-care at a local barbershop.

A registration table will be available near the starting line on Sept. 21 starting at 7 a.m., but runners can also pre-register in person at the Wellness Center or online at www.mustacherun.eventbrite.com. The 5K costs $30, the fun run $15.

This will be the first 5K run by the Wellness Center, and Thornton said she’s hoping for 150-200 racers.

“We’ve never actually tackled this ourselves, and we’re very excited,” Thornton said.

“We want to really make it clear that this a double-event from the run and the health fair.”

The Health Fair starts at 9 a.m. Thornton said 31 different booths have already signed up, with the hope of 40 or more booths by Sept. 21.

Organizations who’ve already signed up for booths include MRHC, Pittsburg County Health Department, the American Cancer Society, the Warren Clinic, EagleMed and Oklahoma State University’s cooperative extension school. Activities planned include cholesterol checks, diabetes education and risk assessment, footwear analysis and nutrition education.

Children in Kindergarten through the third grade can also bring in colored sheets that will be handed out in local schools. Two children will take home new bikes.

Facepainting and inflatables will also be available for children attending the fair. The fair is free to the public, running from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

“We are welcoming the community to come out and find out about wellness,” Thornton said.

The Wellness Center is still looking for additional sponsors for the race. If interested, contact Thornton or Davidson at 918-421-6600.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.