A record number of runners lined up for the fifth annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in South Dakota Sunday morning. Organizers say the move from Vermillion to Sioux Falls paid off in a very big way.
It's the start of the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure for thousands of runners Sunday. But the last four years have been a marathon for Cheryl Goeman, who fought and conquered breast cancer.
"It's still in the back of your mind always," Goeman said.
She lost her mother to cancer and was diagnosed herself after a mammogram in 2008. She says the record turnout and support for her disease is overwhelming.
"It's just amazing, all the people. To see some of them have gone through the same thing I have or are going through it, I just can't believe it," Goeman said.
It’s women like Goeman who inspire up to 6,000 participants in this year's race to lace up in Falls Park -- significantly higher than races held in Vermillion during previous years.
Komen Executive Director Amanda Anderson says this is exactly what organizers hoped for when making the move to Sioux Falls.
"We've been so blessed to be down in Vermillion but we knew that to be true to our mission, we need to come to a larger population to grow," Anderson said.
It was the largest Komen race ever in South Dakota, with twice as many participants as last year.
"That's a lot of mammograms. That's a lot of transportation for people to get their cancer treatments. That's a lot of wings, a lot of things we're able to do for those who really need it in our state," Anderson said.
Anderson says personal fundraising is estimated to reach $100,000 after the event, adding up to $250,000 when tossing in donations from sponsors.