March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and what better way to show support than with our local March To Get Screened 5K? This is always a fantastic event, and I was so happy to be able to participate in the in-person race.
For the 12th year, Borland Groover brought the March To Get Screened to Jacksonville. The mission? To raise awareness to colon cancer. The Foundation promotes awareness about the importance of screening for colon cancer, provides free colon screenings to patients who may not have the financial means to have one, and provides financial assistance to patients newly diagnosed with colon cancer.
The Morning Of
I had every intention of picking up our race packets in advance, but it never happened. On race morning, we left extra early in order to find parking and collect our bibs. The stars aligned, and we parked right at the venue, instead of finding spots on the street. We easily collected our swag bags, dropped things off at the car, and found a spot to chill out before the light crowds arrived. This included enjoying the sunrise and using the (real) bathrooms.
For many years, the March To Get Screened 5k took place on the beach. It was beautiful, but sand running can be kind of awful. More recently, the venue moved to the Riverside Arts Market, which is a great space, under the overpass, along the river. The course is a fairly straightforward loop that leaves the RAM, travels over the Acosta Bridge, and then descends into downtown Jacksonville. There’s an out and back stretch by the Convention Center, and then runners eventually find themselves back to the Riverwalk. Most of the last mile is next to the water, and it’s just lovely. There are definitely some elevation changes, but nothing too major.
We finished strong!
The March To Get Screened did a great job with its safety protocols this year. First, the race offered both in-person and virtual options, which I loved, considering the race’s cause and target demographic. While there was a bit of a “festival” feel to the venue with vendor booths, photo opps, and the inflatable colon (I didn’t get a picture this time), the race required masks there, and for runners at the start and after finishing. In fact, MTGS5K masks were included in the swag bags, which was so nice. The race organizers set up cones for each runner at the start to keep everyone distanced, and all the athletes were respectful of the system and the spacing.
After our run , we collected our medals and wandered for a few minutes. The race supplied bottles of water and electrolytes, and I believe they handed out pre-wrapped breakfast biscuits (we skipped those). We took some photos.
and enjoyed the river and the music. I don’t know about you, but the fresh air and gorgeous views really invigorate me. Sure, we ran a pretty tough race in the sun and heat, but I was so ready to take on the rest of the day!
Another year of March To Get Screened was a success!
Have you ever run for colon cancer? Did you get to run any races this past weekend, either live or virtual?