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Prostate Cancer Awareness Event Marks Two Solid Years of Success

A 5K run and walk took place early Saturday morning in Gulfport, and it was all in the name of a good cause.

The J. West Prostate Cancer Foundation was formed after Jim West battled the disease himself. He found himself searching for answers, yet there was no one to give them to him. On the foundation's website, West writes "It was then that I made a determination to become that guide."

Last year, the  was held in Gulfport after a four year absence. Organizer Mike Calamari led three successful runs for cancer in Gulfport from 2003 - 2006, before being diagnosed with prostate cancer himself. Calamari brought back the run last year and continued with the event into 2012.

Last year's number of entries maxed at 116 runners and walkers. This year, 110 were pre-registered, but by the time the race actually started, there were 125 participants. The small jump in number was impressive, considering that Walt Disney World's Marathon Weekend was happening at the same time.

Runners and walkers warmed up beneath a postcard-worthy sunrise in Gulfport on Saturday morning.

The race started around 8 a.m., and first place runner, Hunter McCann hit the finish line at just over 17 minutes. Alex Eaton was the first female to cross the finish, at right around 19 minutes.

All of the entries completed the race with flying colors and good attitudes. Awards were handed out by Jim West himself.  

"I am very happy, in this economy, with what we've done," said race organizer . "We've done good, and I'm proud of all the people that I work with."

Lori Rosso January 09, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Mike Calamari (and his lovely wife Shirley) made a very complex event come off beautifully. Thank you for making this event such a win-win, for supporting such a worthy cause to showing off Gulfport!!!
Lori Rosso January 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Thank you also to all the Chamber Volunteers who stuffed goodie bags, manned registration and showed up before the sun on race day!!!!
Rob Fowler January 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM
And men, don't forget to get your PSA checked. I found out I had prostate cancer after getting mine checked after the race (and my wife) inspired me to do so. Do not wait! BTW, I had no symptoms even though it was already advanced, termed "aggressive" and about to spread into other organs.

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