Run with Donna events kick off with 5k

The 7th annual 26.2 with Donna to end breast cancer will be run Sunday out at the beaches.

Saturday a shorter version of the event was held downtown.

Things got underway with a 5K run and a huge health and fitness expo.

More than 1700 runners competed in Saturday's 5K and family fun run, some of those will also run on Sunday.

Cody Mummau will do so, he could easily be spotted today, due to his height and his pink beard.

"I run in honor of my mother in law , Glenna Alley. She is a 14 year breast cancer survivor. Having pink in the beard seems appropriate on a weekend like this," Mummau said.

Jeff Wight from Atlantic Beach was the first person across the finish line.

"It is a great course. I love coming downtown, it is a great cause. You definitely can't lose coming off this one," Wright said.

Race packets were picked up by thousands of runners.

Thousands attended the health and fitness expo, many not even runners.

They shopped, picked up free stuff and tried their hand at winning prizes and got their pictures made in the First Coast News photo booth.

Biggest loser contestant Tara Costa among several speakers on hand.

Marathon host Donna Deegan says this 7th annual event is indeed bigger and better.

"We've got people literally here from every state and about 22 countries. It is amazing to see when you get some synergy behind a wonderful cause like this, and plus marathoners are great people, they love to run and to run for a cause there is nothing better than that," Deegan said.

Loretta Haycook is one of many streakers. She has run all 6 previous marathons and wouldn't miss her 7th.

"Every year when you cross the finish line, you say never again, and two days later you say I will be back. It keeps you coming back. It is a great cause and keeps you doing it," Haycook said.

The money raised goes to breast cancer research at the Mayo clinic and to help cancer patients with financial needs. Deegan, a 3-time breast cancer survivor, says this run is paying off.

"Literally we have measured results in our first seven years of doing this, they have been able to unravel the genes that cause breast cancer and that is a huge way to getting us to a cure," Deegan said.


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