The 2023 Winship 5K Run/Walk exceeded its seven-figure fundraising goal, bringing in more than $1 million for cancer research and care at the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Bright blue skies and crisp cool autumn weather provided a cheery backdrop and lots of sunshine for the morning of the 13th annual event.
More than 3,000 people came together at McDonough Field to trek 3.1 miles and raise money to help fund research at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University towards finding a cure for cancer. Race participants consisted of both individual participants and more than 200 fundraising teams, including corporate teams and family groups. The number of teams, overall participants and money raised by the 2023 event surpassed that of the previous year.
The energy was palpable among volunteers, vendors and participants who clearly enjoyed being back on-site for the in-person event, after the 2022 in-person event had to be cancelled due to a weather threat. Colorful tutus and accessories were accompanied by custom-designed shirts in honor of participants’ loved ones who have had cancer.
Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, Winship’s executive director, attended the event and welcomed participants with a greeting message, thanking everyone for their participation and commitment to the cause. “We appreciate the thousands of people who’ve contributed as sponsors, volunteers, participants and donors to make this year’s Winship 5k a success. The dollars raised will fund innovative science to help improve lives and inspire hope.”
“Every year, I run the Winship 5k, driven by purpose, fueled by memory and united with a team that shares the same unyielding dedication to making a difference in the world of medicine,” wrote Mihir Patel, MD, in a recent essay about his motivation to participate in the Winship 5k each year. Patel serves as division chief of the head and neck division of Emory’s department of otolaryngology and co-chair of Winship’s Head and Neck Working Group. “For me, the Winship 5K is a journey of remembrance, a celebration of resilience and a tribute to the patients whose legacies live on through our tireless pursuit of progress.”
Before the start of the race, fitness trainers from Blomeyer Health Fitness Center took the stage to lead participants through a few warm-up exercises on the field. At start time, the crowd cheered as they made their way from the field to the starting line. Balloons lined the start and finish, contributing to the festive atmosphere. Supporters with signs and DJs spinning music gathered along the race route at several cheer stations to help runners and walkers stay motivated along the hills of the 5k course winding around campus. Participants gathered back at McDonough Field after the event to refuel with snacks and drinks and enjoy giveaways from numerous vendors and sponsors. Finishers were all smiles as they lined up to take photos with mascots or in front of decorative banners and balloons.
Winners of the race included Trevor Kickliter of Atlanta, age 25, with a time of 17:43.82, and Delaney Geitgey, also age 25 and from Atlanta, was the top female finisher with a time of 20:31.66. View race results. Overall winners were awarded with customized Atlanta Falcons jerseys.
To date, in its first 12 years, the Winship 5k raised over $8.74 million, not including funds from this year’s race.
As of Monday morning October 9th, the total funds raised from this year’s event reached $1,040,967.63, surpassing its goal of $1 million. This amount will continue to grow throughout the next few weeks and months as people continue to raise funds and give more donations, which will be accepted through December 31 at winship5k.emory.edu.