Event held for brain tumor center

Shaina James

Northern Michigan University and Marquette General Hospital are teaming up to put on the sixth annual Hope Starts Here Challenge on Saturday, May 7 to help raise money for the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center (UMBTC). The event is the first duathlon in the Upper Peninsula, which includes biking, walking and running.

“People should participate for several reasons; it is a great cause to support brain tumor research, not to mention the research is going on right in our local community. It is a great excuse to get outside and hopefully enjoy the May weather. It is also a great event to bring people together as a community and support an important cause,” said Angela Stewart, chief volunteer coordinator.

According to Stewart, they are still looking for volunteers to help operate of the event. People can volunteer by creating registration packets for pre-registered participants, assisting with lunch, setting up the courses and more. People can also help to control traffic and be on-course officials, which will require provided training.

For the duathlon, there will be a 5K and 10K run, a leisure walk, and a bike ride. The bike ride is a 10-mile mountain bike ride, and all bikers must wear helmets. The competitive 10K run takes runners around Presque Isle Park.

The competitive 5K run will lead participants along the shore of lake Superior to the ore dock near Presque Isle. One person can compete in all three events, or participants can compete as a team. As a team you can have a participant for each run and the bike ride. Teams can have both men and women. There will be a separate award for the top duathlon team.

“I’ve done the long ride, or the longest ride weather-permitting, for the past five years. This year I’m competing in the new duathlon which is a 5K run, followed by a 10 mile bike, followed by another 5K run,” says five-year competitor, Chris Rovin of Marquette.

The non-competitive leisure walk and short bike ride will parallel the shore of Lake Superior heading south on the bike path toward Lower Harbor.

“This is a great event for families, with the distance up to each individual participant,” said Stewart.

Lunch and awards will be provided for each paid registration, and everyone will receive a T-shirt.

“The event supports a great local charity. The ride is the primary fundraiser for the UMBTC. The money raised goes toward student research as well as clinical programs,” said Chris Rovin.

For the past five years Chris’ father, Richard Rovin has rode the 40-mile bike ride.

“It is a great way to embrace a healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about brain tumors,” Rovin said.

All events start and finish at Lakeview Arena, 401 East Fair Avenue, Marquette. Registration is held from 7:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., and the duathlon registration ends at 8:45 a.m. The duathlon will start at 9 a.m., and the 10k at 10:30 a.m. The 5k run, leisure walk and bike ride will start at 11 a.m. Lunch and the awards presentation will start at noon. The price of each participant depends on the time of registration and age but range from $15 to $65.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in this fundraising event.

If people wish to volunteer they can contact Angela Stewart by email at [email protected] and use the subject line “Hope Starts Here.”