By: Chris Brunner
Over 3,000 runners and walkers will be lacing up their sneakers on Saturday, March 24, for the annual Half Marathon & 5k Race for Women’s Wellness—all in the name of breast cancer.
With proceeds from the race benefitting the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund, the theme “Run with Us. Save a Life” embodies the overall mission of this signature event–to raise funds for women who cannot afford mammograms.
Founded in 2003 by Vincent Boccard and his wife, Terry, in honor of Vincent’s sister Lisa Boccard who battled breast cancer for over two decades, Lisa is now the driving force behind the fund and making it her life’s mission to screen as many women as possible. Since its start, the fund has screened more than 2,100 women, of which 100 tested positive for cancer. These women are still alive today, thanks in part to the early screening made possible by the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund and the additional services they received within the Broward Health system.
Race for Women’s Wellness is the signature fundraiser for The Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund. Founded in 2006 by two Broward Health Coral Springs physicians, Dr. David Silver and Dr. Mark Shachner, it has raised over $200k since its inception. It began as a small 5k run on the Broward Health Coral Springs hospital campus, and over the past five years, grown to include a half marathon, thanks to a partnership with the City of Coral Springs. Now the “half” and the 5k draws runners from across the United States – and even abroad – to enjoy not only the excellent race conditions but also the fun, festive atmosphere where participants are encouraged to wear pink in as crazy a way as possible.
Kahlila Charles, who ran the race for the first time last year, said one of the things that makes it special is Lisa Boccard herself. “Lisa is literally there at the start and the finish, high-fiving people, giving hugs and even walking them over the finish line if they need a hand.” In addition, the race is known for a very special “can-do” spirit because so many of the participants are themselves cancer survivors, who truly cherish the opportunity to move their bodies in the warm Florida morning.
The event will be held Saturday, March 24, 2018. Both races are presented by the City of Coral Springs and Broward Health Coral Springs.
The half marathon starts at 6 a.m., and the 5k starts at 7:30 a.m., both starting at the Coral Springs Tennis Center. Half marathon runners must be able to complete the race in 4 hours (18 minutes per mile) and must be 12 years or older. The 5K race is open to all ages and skill levels. Entry fees start as low as $15 for students. Online registration, donations and fundraising is available at Race for Women’s Wellness.
Don’t want to run but want to help? Please e-mail Barbara Epes at email@example.com. Students will receive community service hours.
Chris has been a contributing writer at Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk since high school. He is a resident of Coral Springs and is currently attending college.