OCEAN CITY – Despite the gloomy weather, the Inaugural Komen Maryland Ocean City Race for the Cure held last Sunday beat expectations as support turned out from all directions.
According to Susan G. Komen Communications and Development Coordinator Brittany Fowler, a goal was set to have 3,000 participants register for the race, and as of Tuesday, the count was up to 3,694, including 142 people who registered on race day.
In addition, Komen’s goal was to raise at least $240,000 for breast cancer, and as of Wednesday the ticker on its website was close to $266,000.
“I think it was good, people were really excited to be there, really excited to participate at the first-time event, and really just wanted to show their support regardless of the weather,” Fowler said.
The week leading up to the race Komen was preparing for the dismal weather.
“On the back end, we made plans and put them in place to make sure that we would have safety in mind with everything we did,” Fowler said. “We just wanted to make sure that we were doing everything that we could to keep safety in mind.”
The glass is being looked at half-full since the downfall held off until after the race and was a drizzle as racers were being called to the starting line.
“The wind didn’t really pick up and the rain really didn’t start coming down in crazy sheets until after 10 o’clock [a.m.] so we were pretty thankful that even though it rained during the event that it held off from the big stuff as long as it could,” Fowler said.
The most fortunate event was the rain held off together for the Survivor Parade and photo gathering, which was held at 6:40 a.m.
“That is always one thing that we keep our fingers crossed for because that is one of the most emotional parts of the day, and we really want everybody to see that, enjoy it, and celebrate it,” Fowler said.
All-in-all Komen appreciates the partnership formed with the town and businesses and has every intention to return next year to hold the second Race for the Cure in Ocean City.
“The city was able to get exposure, as well as the local businesses, restaurants, and hotels,” Fowler said. “With the economic impact, we are hopeful everybody saw a great weekend and from there we can grow our partnerships next year.”
Mayor Rick Meehan agreed that overall the race went well.
“I thought everybody was in great spirits, and as we welcomed the participants and it started to drizzle they still seemed to be in good spirits and they were ready to participate,” he said.
Meehan added that as he looked down from the Atlantic Hotel’s balcony as the race was about to start he couldn’t help but notice the participants’ smiling faces.
“According to Komen, they have raced in a lot worse conditions than that … and they didn’t seem to miss a beat,” he said. “I was there with the organizers and they were smiling, they were excited, and they were ready for the race to take place. They were very happy with the way it worked out here in Ocean City.”
The organization was formed when Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever, and in 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The Maryland Affiliate is part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Through events like the Komen Maryland Race for the Cure, the Maryland Affiliate has invested $35 million in community breast cancer programs since 1993. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stays in Maryland. The remaining 25 percent funds national breast cancer research, often taking place at Maryland institutions.