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Thousands will take to streets in fight against breast cancer at Walk for Life

Jeremy Kelly, left, and Amanda Atwell, right, make their way down Laurel Street during a past Walk for Life event.
Jeremy Kelly, left, and Amanda Atwell, right, make their way down Laurel Street during a past Walk for Life event. File photo/The State

Walkers and runners will be looking pretty in pink as they participate in Saturday’s 26th Walk for Life and inaugural Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon at Spirit Communications Park.

In addition to that new half marathon – with a specially designed finisher’s medal cast in rose gold with notable Columbia landmarks – there’s the 3.1-mile walk and 5K and 10K runs.

“Proceeds from these signature fundraising events, led by Palmetto Health Foundation, benefit Palmetto Health Breast Center in Columbia,” said Ashley M. Dusenbury, assistant Vice President of public relations for Palmetto Health Foundation. “The Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon is part of Walk for Life, a 26-year movement to beat breast cancer in the Midlands.

“Proceeds stay in our community at Palmetto Health Breast Center. (The) 2016 proceeds will help purchase a 3D digital mammography machine for the Breast Center at Baptist.”

Paper registrations for walkers only will be accepted at Spirit Communications Park at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

The 26th Walk for Life, new Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon and the 5K and 10K certified races will begin and end at Spirit Communications Park, 1640 Freed Drive. Registration includes a pink T-shirt for walkers. Previously registered runners get a performance shirt. Breast cancer survivors will receive a special pink bandana.

The schedule for Saturday’s Walk for Life is:

▪ Walk for Life late registration: 6:30 a.m.

▪ Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon: 7:15 a.m.

▪ Opening remarks: 7:40 a.m.

▪ 10K race and 5K race: 7:45 a.m.

▪ Walk for Life: 7:50 a.m.

The route of the Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon takes runners through historic neighborhoods and past landmarks, among them the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens, Mann-Simons Cottage, Greek Orthodox Church and S.C. Governor’s Mansion complex. Runners will run for about 2.5 miles along the Columbia Canal and then Earlewood Park community. Just after Marshall Park, runners will enter the Elmwood Park community, with its turn-of-the-century homes, before heading back to Spirit Communications Park.

Proceeds go to Palmetto Health Breast Center, a provider of screening and diagnostic breast imaging services that performs an average of 40,000 mammograms each year.