The Great Pink Run which will launch in Dublin later this week is to go global for the first time in its nine year history.
The run, which raises money for Breast Cancer Ireland expanded from Dublin to Kilkenny, alongside sponsor Glanbia under the Avonmore Slimline Milk banner, in 2017 and this October it will aim to brighten the streets around Chicago’s Diversey Harbor.
Sporting legend, and Great Pink Run Patron, Sonia O’Sullivan, who has been involved for the past six years, will lead out the inaugural Chicago run. Planning is now underway to replicate the format of this emotional and inspiring event in each of the three locations.
There will be a 10k challenge as well as a 5K fun run with live DJ, motivational music and face-painting and participants will be encouraged to “pink it up” in support of those impacted by breast cancer.
Over 35,000 women, men and children have crossed the finish line in Ireland since the event began in 2011. Last year alone, over 8,200 participants took part and raised in excess of €500,000 to support breast cancer research programmes such as the establishment of a research fellowship into Triple Negative breast cancer, a subtype found mainly in younger women, under the guidance of Dr Paul Mullan at Queens University Belfast.
Chicago was chosen as the first overseas location for several reasons, primarily because it is home to one of the country’s best and most progressive breast research centres; The Ludwig Breast Cancer Centre at the University of Chicago, who have collaborated with Breast Cancer Ireland funded research laboratories in the past.
It is proposed that funds raised from this year’s event in Chicago will continue to support this international collaborative research programme into metastatic disease.
The city also has a vibrant Irish American network and a strong running fraternity, as evidenced from the success of the Chicago Marathon, now in its 42nd year.
In addition, the city is also home to Glanbia plc’s large nutritional business who have offered to extend their title sponsorship to include Chicago this year.
“We are delighted with the success of the Great Pink Run that has gone from strength to strength, raising over 1.7 million euro to fund our research and awareness programmes nationally,” said Breast Cancer Ireland CEO Aisling Hurley, who spoke at last year’s Sport for Business Sport for Social Good Event in Dublin.
“We hope that by bringing our Great Pink Run overseas to the United States, that we will make a significant impact through the collaborations that we undertake, which in turn will significantly change the landscape of this disease into the future.”
“Good nutrition and fitness are widely recognised as helping to protect against cancer and support overall health and wellbeing,” added Michael Patten, Group HR and Corporate Affairs Director of Glanbia plc.
“We are very proud once again to be involved with this fantastic event that supports the pioneering research work of Breast Cancer Ireland. Many of us in Glanbia are getting back into training and look forward to welcoming and creating a competitive challenge with our colleagues in Chicago for this year’s Great Pink Run.”