WESTPORT, Conn. – Organizers of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure have been considering a new race in Connecticut for more than two years.
This May, the organization will host a five-kilometer race in Westport as it branches into Fairfield County.
“We had discussions about growth and we felt that we kind of maxed out in Hartford at Bushnell Park,’’ said Anne Morris, executive director of the Connecticut affiliate. “We can’t accommodate any more there, and we weren’t ready to move the venue. We had been talking about adding an event in Fairfield County for about two-and-one-half years.”
The Westport race will be May 11 at Sherwood Island State Park. The 5K race begins at 8:30 a.m. There also will a kids run, and 5K and 1.5K walks. Komen Connecticut’s primary focus is on educating men and women on the importance of early detection of breast cancer, providing money for free screening services and providing support to those who are diagnosed with breast cancer. The group's race in Hartford is scheduled for June 1.
The Westport event also will include events for survivors, including a breakfast and a parade.
“It’s like a morning-long festival,’’ Morris said. “Many of the people come out because of their own commitment to fight breast cancer. We looked at other breast cancer events in Fairfield County, and we didn't see many. Mother’s Day weekend is a great weekend for women and mothers.”
The race joins an already crowded recreation calendar in the spring. In Westport, the Minute Man Races, a 5k and 10K, will be April 28. SpinOdyssey, another breast cancer fundraiser in which participants ride exercise bikes, is scheduled for May 5 in Westport. A run to support the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital will be April 27 in Norwalk and Norwalk-based Lightfoot Running Club hosts its annual 10k May 12. Races in Ridgefield and Greenwich also are scheduled for the same weekend in May.
“It’s hard to project what we’ll get the first year,’’ Morris said. “We’re hoping for 2,000, but we might get 1,000, we might get 3,000. It’s hard to say. Fairfield County is different from Hartford in how you reach people. Hopefully, we’ll get the word out to a lot of people.”
Morris cited an alarming breast cancer statistic -- Connecticut has the second highest incidence of breast cancer nationwide.
“There seems to be an awful lot of breast cancer in Fairfield County,’’ Morris said. “I think there’s a real commitment to fight this disease. I’m finding that loud and clear.”
Komen For The Cure is seeking town ambassadors to spread the word about the race. Registration is available online. Runners and walkers also can form teams.
“It was time for us to come down to Fairfield County,’’ Morris said. “We’re looking forward to having a great event.”