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Three times around the mall for fun and awareness

There's a brand new road race in Westminster on Saturday, and it comes with the benefit of a semiprivate course. The inaugural Gold's Gym 5K run and 1-mile fun run will follow the loop around Mall Ring Road.

"It's nice that the mall property is private, so there is not a lot of traffic," said Lynn Olexy, general manager of Gold's Gym Westminster. "Most of [the cars] are coming to the gym if they are coming, since the mall doesn't open till 10 a.m."

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The fun run will begin at 8 a.m. at the Gold's Gym entrance and loop around once to finish, according to Mary Clarke, a supervisor at Gold's Gym. The 5K race will began at 8:30 a.m. and will loop around the mall three times, she said.

The race will be timed by the Westminster Road Runners Club, according to Olexy, and prizes — most likely gift cards to a store she has yet to determine — will be given to the top male and female finishers. There will also be an after party with a disc jockey; and coffee, doughnuts, bananas and other typical post race fair.

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Registration is available online at http://www.active.com and at the Gold's Gym Westminster location through Friday evening, and race day registration will begin at 7 a.m. at the gym, according to Clarke. The fun run is $10 per runner and the 5K is $35.

Thus far, the race is looking to be well attended, according to Olexy, but she said there is plenty of room for last-minute participants.

"We plan to have between 75 and 100 runners, hopefully," Olexy said. "Right now, we have 50 pre-registered and so we assume we will get a few more trickling in and on the day of the race."

The proceeds of the race will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nonprofit selected for reasons both professional and personal, according to Olexy, who said participants will receive purple bracelets, the color being the signifier of pancreatic cancer awareness as pink is to breast cancer awareness.

"In the past, we have done a lot of breast cancer awareness activities so we chose to donate to the pancreatic cancer fund," Olexy said. "My mother died of pancreatic and the owner's mother died of pancreatic cancer ... so we thought, 'What the heck? It's our first race.' I contacted the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and they were great."

According to Faith See, a public relations manager with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the organization works with people all across the country to set up fundraising events like the Gold's Gym 5K. The funds raised not only go toward research into treatments for pancreatic cancer, but also to directly help those diagnosed.

"People affected by pancreatic cancer can call and get in touch with a liaison that can answer their questions about the disease ... and connect them with our clinical trials data base," See said. "They can do a search across the country to find an appropriate clinical trial based on where they are in their battle with pancreatic cancer."

Olexy said that the plan is to make the race into an ongoing, annual event.

"We are definitely going to do this again next year and we're going to keep it around the weekend after Labor Day," she said. "Really, next year will be easy to put together now that we know what to do."

Reach staff writer Jon Kelvey 410-857-3317 or jon.kelvey@carrollcountytimes.com.

If You Go

What: Inaugural Gold's Gym 5K Run and 1-mile Fun Run

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When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6

Where: Gold's Gym Westminster, 400 North Center St., Westminster

Cost: $35 for 5K, $10 for fun run

To register, go to http://www.active.com and search for "Gold's Gym Westminster," visit the Gold's Gym Westminster location or simply arrive as early as 7 a.m. to register the day of the race.

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