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Run-Ride for Ragan Biathlon Set for Oct. 5


Run-Ride for RaganThe Run-Ride for Ragan Biathlon will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, to raise money to aid in the fight against breast cancer.

Proceeds will go to SoutheastHEALTH Foundation and Southeast Cancer Center to help fund mammography services for early detection of breast cancer.

The biathlon, consisting of a 5K run and a 17-mile bicycle ride, will start and end at the Boardman/Hutson Pavilion in downtown Cape Girardeau. The event will kick off at 8 a.m.

The event, first held last year, honors the late Ragan Ward Neilson, a Cape Girardeau native and the daughter of Dr. Robert and Barb Ward. Ragan died of breast cancer in October 2007 at the age of 32.

Barb Ward and some of her female friends comprise the Java Joggers who regularly work out at HealthPoint Fitness outfitted in pink and black attire. The Java Joggers created the biathlon.

The SoutheastHEALTH Foundation has joined the fundraising effort. “We are really trying to focus on cancer patient care,” says the Foundation’s Sam Duncan, senior development officer for SoutheastHEALTH’s fundraising organization.

Ward says the funds will provide mammograms for women in this region.  “All the money will be used locally,” she stresses.

Participants can register online at runrideforragan.com or obtain registration forms at HealthPoint Fitness in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, as well as other locations including Cape Bicycle, Cyclewerx and the Southeast Missouri State University Recreation Center.

Participants who register by Friday, Sept. 13, will be guaranteed a t-shirt.  The entry fee ranges from $25 for those who just want to compete in the 5K race to $65 for a biathlon team. Ward says organizers are still enlisting volunteers and sponsors for this event.

Ward says her daughter was an inspiration to others, participating in a 5K run for breast cancer only four weeks before she died. “Ragan would be honored that this event is being held and she would be thankful for the support it offers to others receiving the care they need and deserve.”

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