BALTIMORE -- After three years of virtual racing, thereturned on Saturday with a crowd ready to sweat it out in Howard County.
WJZ is a proud sponsor of this annual race as it takes another stride toward helping the University of Maryland cure cancer.
About 1,400 racers and walkers flooded Maple Lawn in Howard County Saturday morning for a cause that can change lives.
For the fifteenth year, the Maryland Half Marathon & 5K returned to raise money for cancer research.
Every dollar goes to the innovation and treatment doctors spearhead at the University of Maryland's cancer center.
"We've more recently developed new therapies for multiple myeloma," Dr. Kevin Cullen, director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, said. "Cell-based therapies to boost the immune system and attack myeloma and other forms of cancer."
Michael Greenebaum's mother for years during her battle with breast cancer.
Greenebaum started the race in her memory and says it's touching to see the overwhelming support.
"I think this might be for me the most emotional one of our races," he said. "Just getting everyone back together and just getting the support again like we didn't skip a beat. It's just heartwarming."
WJZ's Mark Viviano kicked off the race with motivating words. His wife, Megan, reflected on the moment when a volunteer placed the winning medal around her neck three years ago.
"The volunteer who was doing that was a cancer survivor," she said. "And I could see she had lost her hair, and that moment just really was emotional for me as I realized how important that journey is."
Megan started running in the race back in 2012 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"I've seen first-hand how difficult it is treatment-wise from early state in the game to late in the game," she said. "And the kind of care the Greenebaum Center offers is incredibly important."
Though both of her parents passed away from breast and lung cancer, she encourages people to take action now before it's too late.
"I get preventative mammograms even at the age of 37 because of my family history," she said. "If you are someone who's been a smoker in the past—even in the distant past—if you are over 50 and used to smoke the last 12 years, or currently, it's incredibly important to get screened once a year."
Megan said the race would always be a tradition that is dear to her heart.
for more features.