A little more than 10 years ago, Jason Hasty, then the physical education teacher at Putnam City’s Western Oaks Elementary School, was a dedicated runner. If he wasn’t running in local races, he was training to run in those races. He wondered. Why couldn’t Putnam City host a race?
Flash forward to today, and it turns out the district can do just that. On the morning of Saturday, Nov. 11, more than 1,000 runners and walkers are expected to take part in the 10th annual Putnam City Cancer Classic, a 5k and 1-mile fun run that raises money for cancer research at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). The 5k starting gun will sound at 8:30 a.m., while the fun run begins at 10 a.m. The event will be held at Wheeler Park, 1120 S. Western.
Registration for the 5k race is $30. Registration for the fun run is $15. Runners and walkers can register and pay online at www.pccancerclassic.com or register the morning of the event at Wheeler Park.
Hasty says the race has come a long way.
“That first year of the Putnam City Cancer Classic I was nervous. I didn’t know a great deal about hosting a race. But it worked, and it’s gotten better and better every year. The community shows up and has a good time. Everyone who takes part knows it’s a great event which benefits a great cause, cancer research at OMRF,” says Hasty.
Last year’s Cancer Classic raised about $9,700 for cancer research. It’s just one component of a larger cancer fund drive. For 42 years, Putnam City has worked with OMRF in the battle against cancer. Using everything from pajama days, school carnivals, soccer games and powder puff football, district students, parents and staff have raised more than $3.5 million to support OMRF’s cancer research efforts. Putnam City’s donations have purchased a vast array of sophisticated laboratory equipment, including centrifuges, microscopes and incubators, and also established an endowed chair at OMRF, the Putnam City Schools Chair in Cancer Research.
“The Cancer Classic is a fun event, but more importantly, everyone who takes part is taking personal action in the fight against cancer,” says Stephanie Treadway, the principal at Western Oaks Elementary School who is chair of Putnam City’s Cancer Fund Drive.