Coach Darrell Hazell has taken on the reins as spokesperson for the Purdue Challenge, a 5K race which begins and ends at the north end of Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday, April 13 at 8:30 a.m.
From his first public comments upon being hired as head football coach, Darrell Hazell has stressed that it will take everyone in the Purdue family to win championships.
A similar sentiment applies to finding a cure for cancer: the more people who support research initiatives the better.
So in what can be termed a perfect partnership, Hazell will serve as spokesman for the sixth-annual Purdue Challenge, a 5K walk/run set for the second Saturday in April. It is open to the public, and all proceeds directly benefit the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research.
"I was amazed to learn about the incredible work being done on our campus to rid the world of this dreadful disease," said Hazell, whose father died from prostate cancer. "With each passing day and each new development, we are getting closer to finding a cure, and I want to personally invite everyone in our community and beyond to take part in the Challenge and directly help in the ongoing research."
The 3.1-mile race, which begins and ends at Ross-Ade Stadium and winds through the north edge of campus, gets under way with Hazell banging the "All-American" Marching Band's Big Bass Drum to send off the participants. An awards ceremony following the race wraps up the festivities. Coach Danny Hope had served in a similar role the past four years.
The football team will play its spring game that afternoon.
Click here to see the race route, which is certified (#IN 08001 MW).
Registration is easy: online, in-person (201 South University Street, Room 141) or at the race (April 12 - 4 to 7 p.m. and April 13 - 7 to 8:15 a.m., north end of Ross-Ade). The cost is $20 for students and $25 for non-students until April 1 and $30 after April 1).
Purdue student-athletes, led by the Boilermaker Athletic Council leadership group, are active participants and contributors.
The Challenge also offers "Sleep-in for the Challenge," for those who can't participate but still wish to contribute.
New this year is the option to participate as an individual sponsor through a personalized website with options for photographs, videos and testimonials. Individuals can register as a fundraiser and have the option to create or join a team in competition. Awards will be given for the most money raised as an individual, community group, faculty/staff group and student group. Each award will include a plaque and pizza party at Puccini's. Individuals do not have to be signed up for the race to participate this way.
Last year, there were more than 2,000 participants in the Challenge, making it the largest 5K race in Tippecanoe County. Since its beginning in 2008, the Challenge has raised more than $245,000 for cancer research. The proceeds are awarded annually by a competitive grant process to the researcher who presents the best novel research project.
The Purdue Center for Cancer Research is one of just seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic research facilities in the United States. The center, which was founded in 1978, attempts to help cancer patients by identifying new molecular targets and designing future agents and drugs for effectively detecting and treating cancer.
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