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Nearly 800 people walked or ran in the seventh annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race and 2K Fun Run/Walk. Registration is open for this year’s race Saturday, Sept. 24.
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The 2015 Alton Miles for Meso race raised more than $30,000 for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Simmons Hanly Conroy Chairman John Simmons presented a ceremonial check to organization President Linda Reinstein and Jordan Zevon, the group’s national spokesperson.
ALTON — As the recent passage of major reform to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act marked a milestone for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in its journey to have asbestos banned in the United States, the race to the finish line continues with the eighth annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race & 3K Fun Run/Walk to benefit the organization.
Registration is open for the event on Saturday, Sept. 24, which coincides with National Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26.
Alton Miles for Meso is an initiative of the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation, established in 2009 to raise funds and awareness for mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Simmons Hanly Conroy, a leading national law firm that represents mesothelioma patients and their families, and Metro Tri Club of Edwardsville, host and produce the event.
In June, President Barack Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act that reforms the TSCA and empowers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate or ban substances like asbestos.
“We are heartened by this major move forward in protecting people from the negative health effects of asbestos, but there is more work to be done,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder of ADAO along with Doug Larkin, who both have lost loved ones to mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. “We look forward to another record-breaking Alton Miles for Meso in 2016 to help make sure victims of asbestos-related diseases have a united voice in continuing to raise public awareness of the dangers of asbestos, which is still prevalent and legal to use in the United States today.”
“We are thrilled to once again present this wonderful event that brings our community together to support the victims of asbestos-related diseases and their families,” Todd Adamitis, chief operating officer of Simmons Hanly Conroy, said. “We also are grateful to all of the participants and attendees, as well as our colleagues and friends who donate their time each year to help make this event a success.”
The event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Simmons Hanly Conroy national headquarters, 1 Court St., across from Marquette Catholic High School. Early registration costs $25 and ends Aug. 31. Regular registration costs $25 and will run Sept. 1-19, followed by late registration for $35 up until the race day. Online registration at milesformeso.org/register ends Sept. 22. Registration on-site the day of the race will begin at 7:30 a.m.
Registration also is open through Sept. 2 for this year’s expanded Alton Miles for Meso Virtual Race that allows anyone in the country or the world to participate by purchasing race T-shirts, and on race day sharing photos of themselves wearing the shirts via social media and the hashtag #milesformeso. The race site will feature a large screen that will display the social media posts throughout the race to allow virtual participants to broadcast their support in real time to runners, patients and their families in Alton. Virtual race registration costs $30 and includes the T-shirt and shipping fees.
Among the event’s other highlights will be a performance by Jordan Zevon, ADAO spokesman and son of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, who died from mesothelioma in 2003. Other planned activities and attractions include a children’s game zone, a dog adoption event hosted by Hope Rescues, and a vendor fair with local businesses and charities.
The top five overall men and women 5K race finishers each will win trophies and cash prizes of $500, $250, $200, $100 and $50, in order of finish. In addition, the first-, second- and third-place finishers in 5-year age groups will receive custom medals, and the top fundraising team and individual will be recognized.
More than 1,000 people attended last year’s event, which raised more than $30,000. Miles for Meso races have taken place in other cities across the country from New York to Florida to Washington state and several locations in between. The Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K will take place in Ontario, Ohio, on the Sunday before the Alton race. Since 2009, the combined events have raised nearly $450,000 to benefit mesothelioma research and awareness.