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KIMT NEWS 3 — From breast cancer research to Parkinson’s disease to suicide prevention, runs and walks are a popular way to draw awareness to a certain illness or disease.
All over southern Minnesota and north Iowa something was taking place Saturday.
Kim Gooden’s motivation to walk comes from her father.
“My dad passed away this past fall and so we’re walking in memory of him this year,” Gooden said.
She has been striving to find a cure long before that. She and her family got involved with the Parkinson’s walk in the Twin Cities about eight years ago, but she decided it was time to bring it closer to home.
“Last year was our first one and it was pretty well received and so we decided to do it again and it’s even been better,” Gooden said.
With the cutting of a ribbon they were off at the Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. Those who took part had two options, outside or inside.
“Some of the Parkinson’s patients can’t walk a lot so a little stroll around the mall is great for them,” Gooden said.
A half an hour drive up the interstate takes you to yet another event. It is the same concept, to raise awareness, with a different motivation.
“I brought Clay along with me today because he started me in running when he was born. I decided I’d better get up off the couch if I wanted to be here a long time with my grandson,” said Carmen Van Osdale of Owatonna.
She also gets inspiration from what the race is all about, raising awareness of suicide. The proceeds are going to a film that will be donated to schools and organizations.
“A good neighbor of mine, his son died of suicide so I’m out here running for him also,” Van Osdale said.
Like the Parkinson’s walk, their shirts were white when they started, but they were certainly not finishing that way.
“Every, it’s about point seven miles, there’s a color station set up so as the runners go through they’re going to be pelted with all sorts of different colors so when they hit that finish line they’re going to be running through like a rainbow,” said event manager Tyler Burke.
As crazy as it may sound to participate in, more than 600 people from all over make their way to Owatonna for the race.
“We got some from Rochester, some people from Faribault in here, people just kind of come from all over. I know last year we had people up from Hampton, Iowa,” Burke said.
These walks and runs allow participants to physically support serious illnesses such as cancer. They take part in a journey of hope and perseverance that does not end when they cross the finish line. Those like Van Osdale, and her grandson, will run until a cure is found and enjoy every bit of it.
“He loved it, loved it. I think he’s not sure if he’s going to get in trouble for being dirty,” Van Osdale said.
Burke said they do this type of event for many different charities. They have one coming up in August that will take place at night with black lights and neon water being sprayed at runners.