Feb. 14, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Beginning with his first public comments as head football coach, Darrell Hazell has stressed that it will take everyone in the Purdue family to win championships.
A similar sentiment applies to finding a cure for cancer: the more people who support research initiatives the better.
So it is fitting that Hazell will serve as spokesman for the sixth-annual Purdue Challenge, a 5K run/walk set for Saturday, April 13. It is open to the public, and all proceeds directly benefit the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research.
"I was amazed to learn about the incredible work being done on our campus to rid the world of this dreadful disease," said Hazell, whose father died from prostate cancer. "With each passing day and each new development, we are getting closer to finding a cure, and I want to personally invite everyone in our community and beyond to take part in the Challenge and directly help in the ongoing research."
The 3.1-mile race, which starts and ends at Ross-Ade Stadium and winds through the north edge of campus, begins at 8:30 a.m., with Hazell banging the "All-American" Marching Band's Big Bass Drum to send off the participants. An awards ceremony following the race wraps up the festivities.
The football team will play its spring game that afternoon.
Click here to see the certified race route (#IN 08001 MW).
Registration is easy: online, in-person (201 South University Street, Room 141) or at the race (April 12 - 4 to 7 p.m. and April 13 - 7 to 8:15 a.m., north end of Ross-Ade). The cost is $20 for students and $25 for non-students until April 1 and $30 for everyone after April 1.
Purdue student-athletes, led by the Boilermaker Athletic Council leadership group, again will be active participants and contributors.
The Challenge also offers "Sleep-in for the Challenge," for those who can't participate but still wish to contribute.
New this year is the option to participate as an individual sponsor through a personalized website with options for photographs, videos and testimonials. Individuals can register as a fundraiser and also have the option to create or join a team in competition. Awards will be given for the most money raised as an individual, community group, faculty/staff group and student group. Each award will include a plaque and pizza party at Puccini's. Individuals do not have to be signed up for the race to participate in the fundraiser.
Last year, more than 2,000 participants took part in the Challenge, making it the largest 5K race in Tippecanoe County. Since its beginning in 2008, the Challenge has raised more than $245,000 for cancer research. The proceeds are awarded annually by a competitive grant process to the researcher who presents the best novel research project.
The Purdue Center for Cancer Research is one of just 67 National Cancer Institute-designated research centers in the United States. The center, which was founded in 1978, attempts to help cancer patients by identifying new molecular targets and designing future agents and drugs for effectively detecting and treating cancer.