Thousands run, walk in Komen Maryland's annual Race for the Cure

Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-23 12:59:05-04

With her red devil horns and large sign reading “Lynn’s Breast Friends” – complete with a pink sports bra attached—it was hard to miss Lynn Baklor at the Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley Sunday.

Baklor, an 8-year breast cancer survivor from Pikesville, was one of the top individual fund raisers for this year’s race, bringing in more than $3,000.

She’s also a member of the Red Devils, which funds support services for breast cancer patients and their families.

“Just seeing all of the survivors, it’s great support,” Baklor said.

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She was one of around 8,000 participants in Komen Maryland’s annual Race for the Cure, a 5K run/walk that raises money for breast cancer research. Another few thousand spectators, many dressed in varying shades of pink, attended the event.

Two familiar faces won the 5K competition. Gabe Lloyd of Dover, Pa., was the top male finisher with a time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds, and Sherry Stick was the top female finisher, clocking in at just under 19 minutes. Both were the top finishers in the 2015 race.

Lloyd said he runs in memory of his grandmother, who died of breast cancer. Stick lost her aunt to breast cancer several years ago, and said she thinks of her during the race.

“It helps pull you through,” Stick said.

Kim Schmulowitz, communications and marketing director for Komen Maryland, said she is hopeful this year’s race will raise $1.2 million, in line with what the 2015 Race for the Cure raised. As of Sunday, the tally stood at just over $750,000.

She said the Race for the Cure faces stiff competition from other 5K races that happen in October throughout the area.

“So we’re down a little bit,” she said.

Last month, Komen unveiled its More Than Pink campaign, meant to highlight everyday heroes in the fight against breast cancer.

A large banner hung near the survivors’ tent, encouraging participants to add the name of their More Than Pink hero. Hundreds of people signed the banner, including Stacey Keen, a 16-year breast cancer survivor.

Keen works in the breast imaging radiology field, and detected her own cancer through a mammogram at age 46. She urges other women to be diligent about getting mammograms.

“I work every day to find breast cancer as early as possible,” she said.

Many survivors were joined by large contingents of family and friends, who came out in support and celebration of their loved ones.

Kristie Thompson of Catonsville was one of the hundreds of people who joined Garrison Forest School’s Race for the Cure team. Garrison Forest is the event’s largest school participant, Thompson said.

Her mother is a breast cancer survivor.

“She was diagnosed 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, and she definitely went through a lot,” Thompson said.

She said she enjoys participating in the race to honor those who lost their fight against breast cancer—and to celebrate people like her mother.

“I just feel so blessed,” Thompson said. 

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