media_artricles :: 2018
5,000 in Scotiabank Women against Breast Cancer 5KAndrew Gioannetti :: Newsday :: 29.09.2018
THOUSANDS of elite runners, including two-time defending winner Samantha Shukla, will convene at the Queen's Park Savannah today in a show of solidarity and to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer – the most common form of cancer affecting women in TT – at the 20th annual Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer 5K.
Shukla is among some 83 elite runners and nearly 5,000 other women, who have registered for the event, which will begin and finish at the corner of Victoria Avenue and the Savannah.
The theme of this year's 5K is "20 Steps Stronger." That, according to Cindy Mohammed, general manager of the Scotiabank TT Foundation, is conceptualised to reflect the strides made by the signature event, which is recognised as the largest 5K in the Caribbean.
"It's our 20th anniversary so we decided on a theme that spoke to what we've done and what we've been able to accomplish over the last 20 years in terms of empowering women to take charge of their health and raising awareness for breast cancer and women's wellness on the whole," said Mohammed.
"Because breast cancer is something that affects so many people – I mean, we all know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer, be it our families or probably friends of families, everybody knows somebody – we find that it's always a cause that people support," she added.
In past years, the race has taken place simultaneously at three locations: Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago. However, for its 20th anniversary, the foundation decided to host the event in a similar fashion to its formative years.
"We decided to bring it back to where the race started and where we took our first steps in empowering women, so that's why we decided on only one location this year."
Mohammed said the event became so large and prominent over the years because it attracts those who race for the sake of winning, those who want to support the cause, and many of both.
"Everyone wants to support the cause and be a part of something that's bigger in terms of raising awareness for breast cancer.
"Even though it's a race, you don't have to run. You can walk, you can take your time. Majority of the people do it as a team-building activity," Mohammed said.
Runners will assemble at Victoria Avenue from 3 pm. The warm-ups begin at 3.30 pm, half an hour before the race.
The 5K was first held in 1999, with approximately 300 women participating and raising funds to provide free breast-cancer screenings at regional health centres across the country.
Tthe foundation says over 18,500 women have benefited from the programme. Last year, proceeds from the 5K were donated to the TT Cancer Society to assist in reaching rural communities for breast-cancer screenings and awareness campaigns.
Spectators are invited to attend and are encouraged to purchase a T-shirt, tank top or visor, and/or to make a donation, all of which will once again go to the Cancer Society.
All participants will receive a medal. A prize and the Scotiabank Trophy will be awarded to the first to third-place finishers overall, while prizes will also be given to those who finish between fourth and 10th.
Additional prizes will be awarded to those who finish first in the categories: Under-15, 15-25, 26-40, 41-55s and 55-and-over.
Participants take part in last year's Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer 5k. The 20th annual edition takes place today at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain