It’s time to get your runners on, because Nationwide Stride against Cancer is back for 2016 on Sunday.
Stride is the biggest event the Cayman Islands Cancer Society organizes, with more than 1,500 participants taking to the roads. In fact, Stride is said to be the biggest walk/run event in Cayman, and the only one that takes place in four locations simultaneously.
Although this annual fundraising event was branded with the name “Stride” in 2005, it has been around a lot longer than that – about 20 years, if people are counting.
Last year was the biggest turnout to date, and every year the Cancer Society aims to increase that number. To that end, this year they’ve got 2,000 T-shirts, along with high hopes that they’ll see every last one of them moving forward, en masse, on Sunday at one of the four locations. Right now they have 400 registrants, so they still have a long way to go.
The registration fee is $30 and they are appealing to employers to consider offering a payroll deduction to employees. Finding extra money at the end of the month can be tough, so if the company will advance the registration fees for the employees, that would be a big help.
There are some new things about the old Stride event. This year they are offering a corporate challenge, which leads to a free healthy lunch courtesy of CICS and Saucha. You might assume that a big bank, law firm or accounting firm might win, but sometimes it’s the smaller companies that show great spirit and focus and register 25 people.
Beyond being a great social get together, Stride collects crucial funds for the Cancer Society.
It used to be that the money raised would cover all patient financial aid requirements, but through the years, as the need for the society’s services and financial help has grown, the money from Stride is not sufficient to cover all the financial aid expenses. The funds raised from Stride these days usually amount to about half of what is needed, and the other half is made up through the year by other fundraising efforts and initiatives.
Whether at annual events such as Movember or one-off events like Rowing for Cancer or Kiting for Cancer, every dollar raised makes it possible for the society to meet the increasing community need in Cayman.
If people want to volunteer, CICS would be happy to use those helpful hands. They need the financial support, of course, but more than anything they want to have a huge show of community support and want as many people as possible to join the fight against cancer in some public way on Sunday.
Everyone has a reason to Stride; whether it’s in honor or memory of someone they love who fought cancer, or in gratitude that their loved ones have not been touched by cancer. Most people feel a strong sense of purpose and community when they participate in this event. For example, Jennifer Weber, the Cancer Society’s operations manager, strides for her cousin and father-in-law, who both had cancer.
A bonus prize will be offered for the person who shows up with the oldest Stride shirt and the oldest Cancer Society walk shirt, so people should dig to the bottom of their stack of Stride shirts to see how far back they go. If people also want to get creative with their shirts, a prize will be given for the crowd favorite in the “style it up!” category. That was inspired by many people who have been very creative through the years.
To register, go to the cics.ky website and follow the links to register for Stride. Everyone can register through this link and select which location they’d like to Stride from. Payment can be made online through active giving or in person.
Stride against Cancer locations
Seven Mile Beach Quarter-Marathon Walk / Run – 6.5 miles – 7 a.m. start at Public Beach. It is an out and back course with the event starting and ending at the Public Beach on West Bay Road. The course goes along West Bay Road with The Wharf Restaurant as the turn around point. The course will officially close at 9:30 a.m. and aid stations will close at this time.
North Side Mini Stride – REVISED: 7 a.m. start at Kaibo, walk as far as the old Driftwood and back to Kaibo (roughly 6.3 miles).
Little Cayman Stride – 7 a.m. start from the Southern Cross Club, Guy Banks Road.
Cayman Brac Stride – 7 a.m. start at The Alexander Hotel to the Reef Hotel.