More than 1,700 people participated in the May 6 race in Howard County. Race officials expect to raise more than $200,000 this year for the cancer center
More than 1,700 people participated in the 4th annual Maryland Half Marathon to benefit the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center held Sunday, May 6 in the Maple Lawn community of Howard County, Md. These were registered runners as well as people who signed up to help raise money.
Fundraising will continue until the end of June. Race organizers are optimistic that this year’s net proceeds will exceed $200,000, which would bring the total raised for the cancer center to nearly $1 million since the race was started in 2009 by co-founders Michael Greenebaum and Jon Sevel. This was the second year the course was located in Maple Lawn after two years in Timonium in Baltimore County.
The top finisher in this year’s Maryland Half Marathon was John Ealy, 26, who ran the race in 1: 17:35. Ealy resides in Rodgers Forge in Baltimore County, which means that the race’s top prize, the Maryland Half Marathon County Cup, will be remain in Baltimore County. The winner of last year’s race, Adam Callaway, was also from Baltimore County. The first female runner across the finish line this year was Unsong Ostrowski, 33, of Laurel, Md., who ran the race in 1:27:36.
This year’s special guest was Dozer the Dog, a goldendoodle who ran eight miles of the 2011 race after slipping out of his yard in Fulton to join the runners going by his house. The dog became an instant celebrity after a video of him crossing the finish line was posted on YouTube. Race organizers created a Dozer fundraising page, which garnered more than $25,000 in donations for cancer research. Dozer also has more than 16,000 fans on Facebook. So far this year, supporters have donated more than $6,000 to Dozer’s fundraising effort for the cancer center, and a look-alike stuffed animal and a “paw-tographed” photo of Dozer with his finisher’s medal has been made available as a thank-you gift to anyone who donates $50 or more to support the cause.
The last eight miles of the race was also named Dozer’s Dash in honor of the K-9 fundraiser. The top male and female finishers in the half marathon, Ealy and Ostrowski, had the best times for this leg of the race as well and were named Top Dogs.
Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., the cancer center’s director who participated in the race, says, “We’re extremely grateful to all the runners and volunteers who make the Maryland Half Marathon so successful each year. The money that they have raised has been crucial to helping us provide outstanding care for our patients and to continue our research into new ways to fight cancer. We can’t thank them enough for their generous support.”
A number of cancer survivors and members of their families took part in the half marathon, along with doctors, nurses and other members of the cancer center staff. Cancer survivors were on hand to award medals to runners who finished the race.
The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center is ranked in the nation’s top 25 cancer centers by U.S. News and World Report. The National Cancer Institute-designated center offers a multidisciplinary approach to treating all types of cancer and has an active cancer research program, including more than 200 clinical trials.