It is expected that almost 10,000 men, women and children will take part in the 9th annual Great Pink Run with Avonmore Slimline milk this October, as this massive pink movement goes global. Starting on Saturday October 5, the Great Pink Run will kick off in Chicago’s Diversey Harbor, proudly supported by Glanbia plc, and will return to Ireland on Saturday, October 19 in Dublin’s Phoenix Park followed the next day, Sunday, October 20 in Kilkenny Castle Park.
Sporting legend, and Great Pink Run Patron, Sonia O’Sullivan, who has been involved for the past six years, will lead out the inaugural Chicago run. Planning is now underway to replicate the format of this emotional and inspiring event in each of the three locations. There will be a 10k challenge as well as a 5K fun run with live DJ, motivational music and face-painting and participants will be encouraged to “pink it up” in support of those impacted by breast cancer.
Over 35,000 women, men and children have crossed the finish line in Ireland since the event began in 2011. Last year alone, over 8,200 participants took part and raised in excess of €500,000 to support breast cancer research programmes such as the establishment of a research fellowship into Triple Negative breast cancer, a subtype found mainly in younger women, under the guidance of Dr Paul Mullan at Queens University Belfast.
Chicago was chosen as the first overseas location for several reasons, primarily because it is home to one of the country’s best and most progressive breast research centres; The Ludwig Breast Cancer Centre at the University of Chicago, who have collaborated with Breast Cancer Ireland funded research laboratories in the past and it is proposed that funds raised from this year’s event in Chicago will continue to support this amazing international collaborative research programme into metastatic disease. Two powerful centres of excellence joining forces to provide maximum impact for their communities
The city also has a vibrant Irish American network and a strong running fraternity, as evidenced from the success of the Chicago Marathon, now in its 42nd year. In addition, the city is also home to Glanbia plc’s large nutritional business who have offered to extend their title sponsorship to include Chicago this year.
Commenting on the decision to bring the run global, CEO of Breast Cancer Ireland, Aisling Hurley says, “We are delighted with the success of the Great Pink Run that has gone from strength to strength, raising over 1.7 million euro to fund our research and awareness programmes nationally. We hope that by bringing our Great Pink Run overseas to the United States, that we will make significant impact through the collaborations that we undertake, which in turn will significantly change the landscape of this disease into the future.”
Between 30-50 percent of all cancer cases are preventable according to the World Health Organisation which claims that regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight, along with a healthy diet, can considerably reduce cancer risk.
Michael Patten, Group HR and Corporate Affairs Director of Glanbia plc. comments, “Good nutrition and fitness are widely recognised as helping to protect against cancer and support overall health and wellbeing. We are very proud once again to be involved with this fantastic event that supports the pioneering research work of Breast Cancer Ireland. Many of us in Glanbia are getting back into training and look forward to welcoming and creating a competitive challenge with our colleagues in Chicago for this years Great Pink Run”
Breast Cancer Ireland aims to transform the landscape of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment through ongoing pioneering research that will ultimately transform this disease from often being fatal into a long-term treatable illness.