ALTON, Ill., Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 5th Annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk, nationally sponsored by the Simmons Law Firm, has raised $25,000 to benefit research for mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. More than 800 people walked or ran in the Alton race. The race was one of many events happening around the country over the weekend in celebration of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26.
In Ontario, Ohio, 280 people attended the Second Annual Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K at the local high school and raised more than $6,000. The race was organized by Jill Waite in memory of her father, a high school English teacher and avid runner, who passed away in 2003 from mesothelioma.
"Miles for Meso started in 2009 as a way to celebrate National Mesothelioma Day while raising funds to find a cure," said Mike Angelides, managing shareholder of the Simmons Firm, where the flagship Miles for Meso race takes place. "Since then, races have taken place across the country from New York to Washington state."
Professional runners from around the world also competed in the Alton Miles for Meso Elite 5K. Steven Sambu, a 9-time NCAA All-American runner at the University of Arizona, secured first place with a time of 13:21. He set a new course record, shattering the previous record of 13:48 set by Julius Koskei in 2011. He took home a cash bonus for setting a new course record.
Konjit Biruk, 25, of Ethopia, placed first in the women's division with a time of 16:04. She also set a new course record, surpassing the previous record of 16:08 set by Hirut Mandefro last year. Biruk also received a cash bonus for setting a new course record.
"We knew there was a very good chance our course records would be broken this year," said Mike Wever, Miles for Meso Race Director. "However, I never expected the record to go below 13:30 because of how hilly the course is."
Other Alton race day activities included an activity area for kids, a live performance by country band the Five & Dimers, a vendor fair, free food and drinks, and a dog adoption event hosted by Hope Rescues.
Since 2009, the Alton race has now raised $125,000 for mesothelioma research. Miles for Meso events around the country have raised approximately $360,000. All proceeds have benefited the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a national charity focused on funding peer-reviewed research and patient support programming.
The money is raised through a combination of registration fees, personal donations and sponsorships including the event's Gold sponsors: Acropolis Technology Group, Fathom, First Clover Leaf Bank, Jenner & Block, Stratos Legal and The Tedrick Group.
Learn more at www.milesformeso.org.
About Miles for Meso:
Miles for Meso is an initiative of the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation that was established in 2009 to raise funds and awareness for mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Nearly 3,000 new Americans develop this relatively unknown cancer every year. National sponsor, the Simmons law firm, established the Alton, Ill., race as the program's flagship race. The charity has helped others host Miles for Meso races in several states including Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Washington, New York and Florida.
About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC:
The Simmons Firm, headquartered in Alton, Ill., is one of the country's leading asbestos and mesothelioma litigation firms. With offices in Illinois, Missouri and California, the firm has represented thousands of patients and families affected by mesothelioma throughout the country. In addition, the Simmons Firm has pledged nearly $20 million to cancer research and proudly supports its local communities through other charitable causes. For more information about the Simmons Firm, visit http://www.simmonsfirm.com.
Contact: Mark Motley
Miles for Meso
SOURCE Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC