Thousands turn out for Race for the Cure

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Indianapolis - The 20th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure drew tens of thousands of people downtown Saturday morning.

They came to raise money for breast cancer research, education and screening services... and they came in every shade of pink imaginable, from top hats to bottoms and everything in between.

A group of women in pink wigs and grass skirts said they dressed up "because we have a girl at our church who's a survivor and she's such a huge inspiration and blessing to us. We wanted to have fun and show our support."

A man wearing pink and black make-up said it was about raising awareness. "A lot of people think (breast cancer) just affects women but it affects men and children, too."

This year's survivors parade was 2,500-strong. Participants received lots of love and support along the way. One man broke from the line to give his fiance a hug and kiss, calling out with a big smile, "I love you!" as she returned to the parade.

The Colts Jeff Saturday and his wife Karen returned as honorary chairs of the race, signing autographs before things started.

Saturday said, "there are just so many great stories. You see how much impacts the city in so many ways. Their stories just touch you and you realize you can make a difference, how prevention and early detection work (just) watching the survivor's parade grow."

While race officials predicted the number of participants would fall just shy of the typical 40,000, the people who took part said the gloomy weather didn't dampen their enthusiasm.

One woman said, "you get so many emotions, you cry, you're happy, you cry, you're happy. it's good."

Juanita Anderson, walking with several post office colleagues said, "what I love is everyone comes together and everyone knows survivors of cancer."

Anne Brose, a two-year survivor said, "you look at the number of people here and it just shows how many people breast cancer affects because this is just Indianapolis and look at all the people showed up."

Her son Matt Brose added, "what hits me is the energy. Everyone is in a good mood. There are so many people showing love and support."

And while John Poray crossed the finish line first, he and others know this race doesn't end until there's a cure.

Robert Guthrie, waiting for his wife to finish said,"we got to get this thing wiped out for sure, I've had so many friends who've passed from breast cancer."

Maggie Huber, a young girl, was holding a sign and helping her mother, one of the many volunteers.

Asked why the race was important, Maggie said, "we would like to help out all the women with breast cancer and cure it in the world so we have a world without breast cancer."

Cathy Burch crossed the finish line as it started to sprinkle. She said the rain was no big deal.

Burch said, "not at all. I'm ecstatic because I'm here and I'm alive and we're celebrating all of us here being alive."

The race typically raises about $1.6 million, placing it among the top ten of Race events in the country. While organizers were still tallying final figures Saturday afternoon, proceeds were expected to be up at least 17% on-line over last year.

The race also gets 22.5% of all money raised through MainGate, Inc's merchandise sales.