Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Runners and walkers standing near the starting line jogged in place and tugged at their gloves for warmth just before the start of the 5K and 10K race at the Cool Run on Oct. 27.
The annual race earned its name this year as temperatures dipped into the 30s as a cool front blew through the metroplex. The run is part of the Four Seasons Resort and Club’s Cool October events that support the Irving Cancer Center at Baylor Medical Center.
“You’re part of history,” John Drake, president of the Irving Healthcare Foundation, told participants. “The money is raised here and it stays here. We’re really thrilled that you’re out here running against cancer.”
Funds raised are earmarked to buy equipment in radiation therapy. Last year, the month of events raised $150,000 for the Irving Healthcare Foundation. Combined with other funds raised during the year, the money went to buy Image guided radiation therapy equipment, which is used for patients who come to the hospital after a cancer diagnosis.
For less competitive participants, the event also included a one mile fun run/walk. In that race, strollers pushed by moms and dads rolled along the one mile course.
“I pushed her,” Valerie Cooper said, of her 4-year-old daughter. “She got out and ran the last leg with me though.”
Cooper said she participated in the run last year and although the cold weather kept her from bringing her infant, she said the event was fun for children and also an important community event.
“It’s very important for us to help other people and to encourage health all around,” she said. “It’s a family event.”
The chilly weather wasn’t new for the appropriately named Cool Run, said Yvonne Vasquez, who participated in the one mile run/walk.
“We do this every year,” Vasquez said. “This is my eighth year and it’s always cold, but it’s a great event with a family environment and for a good cause.”
For Vasquez, an employee at Texas Oncology, the event hits close to home.
“People need to be aware that cancer can hit anyone at any time, and people take time for granted,” she said. “This event is our way of saying, ‘We’re here for them.’”
In its 28 years, the Cool Run has raised more than $2.3 million to support cancer services.