Miles for Moffitt set to start

In an effort to raise more money in the fight against cancer, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center has organized several long-distance races around the USF campus in the inaugural Miles for Moffitt benefit race this Saturday.

The expected turnout is anticipated to be about 1,500, according to Karen Dalton, the wife of Moffitt CEO and director William Dalton.

“I have a fabulous committee who are made up of runners, cancer survivors and Moffitt employees who feel as though their mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer,” Dalton said. “Everyone had a different reason and a different talent, and it all came together in the most amazing way.”

Dalton helped acquire sponsors to raise enough money prior to December 2005 to make sure every dollar given to the event will benefit Moffitt’s research program.

Indirectly, profits will also go toward USF researchers who study at Moffitt.

All ages are encouraged to participate in the event. All age groups can participate in a just-for-fun, one-mile race. Children 10 years and under will have their own race.

For serious competitors, the five-mile run will be a timed competition giving first-, second- and third-place prizes in each age category.

USF art history professor and MFM committee member Paula Lee said the race was envisioned to be a mutually beneficial endeavor for both Moffitt and USF.

“This is a great way to get motivated and excited about the University, and I think it will be fun just as well,” Lee said.

USF and Moffitt are collaborating to celebrate the Center’s 20th anniversary as a leader in cancer care in Florida and USF’s 50th anniversary.

According to Lee, the event will need hundreds of volunteers to perform duties such as passing out water bottles to directing traffic.

News Channel 8 sports anchor J.P. Peterson will emcee the event.

Participants and attendees can also enjoy live music provided by USF’s School of Music, and the College of Public Health will put on a free health fair coinciding with public health week.

“Moffitt is a big component of USF, although there has not been a whole lot of joint participation between them,” Lee said. “This is a prominent first step toward encouraging more kinds of cooperative adventures between them.”

The race will begin at 8 a.m. in front of Moffitt’s main entrance on Magnolia Drive and will wind around the USF campus.

Those interested in registering for the day’s events may go to and download a registration form to bring along on the day of the race. Registration opens at 6 a.m.

Entry fees are $30 for the five-mile event and $25 for the one-mile event.

For more information, visit MFM’s Web site or call the Race Hotline at (813) 745-2006.