Pajama Run raises money, awareness for cancer

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 3:25 PM
Last updated 10:06 PM
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Angela Hornsby ran her first 5K around Lake Olm­stead on Saturday.

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More than 300 people participated in the first Pajama Run at Lake Olmstead. Saturday's 5K raised money and awareness for all cancers found below the waist.  LISA KAYLOR/STAFF
More than 300 people participated in the first Pajama Run at Lake Olmstead. Saturday's 5K raised money and awareness for all cancers found below the waist.

She chose an unusual outfit for the occasion: A leopard-print nightie trimmed in faux fur, a scented sleeping mask, an old thin robe and a sleeping cap.

Her son, Michael, ran with her in Spider-man pajamas.

They were two of more than 300 runners in the area’s first Pajama Run, which benefits the Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center.

At least half of the participants ran or walked the 5K in pajama pants, fuzzy slippers and robes, and at least one carried a stuffed bunny rabbit.

The Pajama Run is a national nonprofit event that raises money and awareness for cancers found below the waist, such as colorectal, cervical, uterine and prostate. Races are held in Charleston, S.C.; Denver; Charlotte, N.C.; Long Beach, Calif.; and now Augusta.

Some cancers are well known, but “who really talks about testicular cancer?” organizer Naomi Williams asked the assembled crowd before the start of the race.

The race gets people talking about it, which she is hopeful will lead
more people to get screened for earlier detection, she said.

After Saturday’s race, participants were invited to stick around for a pajama party, which included live music, food and drinks, and a pillow fight.

Williams, a family support coordinator for the cancer center, ran the Pajama Run for the first time in Charleston and thought it was a wonderful idea.

“Since we have a cancer research center here, and we have a very active running community, it just made sense to try and see if we could get a Pajama Run,” she said.

The money will go to the cancer center, so it benefits the community, she said.

The goal was to get 300 participants and to raise $10,000, which is typically unheard of for a first-time run.

“I think we will do it,” she said.

Sharon Huff, a member of the Augusta Striders running club, said her group enjoys supporting causes while getting exercise. She ran in pink Disney pajamas and Minnie Mouse ears.

“Where else but a 5K fundraiser do you get to dress up in your pajamas and not get looked at too crazy?” she said.

Seren Jacobs runs about four days a week and used the Pajama Run as an opportunity to warm up for other races she plans to run this fall.

She ran in pajama bottoms, but afterward said running in pajamas wasn’t much fun.

“It’s really hot. My legs are burning up,” she said, though she laughed about it. “But at least, you don’t get to do it very often.”

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