About 700 people laced up their shoes July 12 for the 15th annual Miles That Matter Pikesville 5K, held near the Festival at Woodholme shopping center.
The race happens each year as a benefit for the locally based Ulman Cancer Fund and was started by real estate developer Mark Sapperstein. It is done in partnership with the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce. There is a 5K run/walk and a one-mile run for children.
Sapperstein, who has chaired the race 12 out of the 15 years it has existed, became passionate about raising cancer awareness after the disease took the life of his mother and mother-in-law.
“We bring in new sponsors each year, new awareness each year,” he said. “The Ulman Cancer Fund folks are doing a great job and it’s great. It’s a lot of fun to smile.” Sapperstein said raising awareness is his favorite aspect to the race and is something his entire family has gotten behind.
“We try to stay on top of it each year,” he said.
Sapperstein said typically the race brings in between $50,000 and $60,000 from those who participate. Ulman Cancer Fund then determines where the money will be allocated.
Ulman provides services to young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 that are affected by cancer. Fitness
instructor Marilyn Pick said she became involved with the race because she wanted to do something for a charitable organization and was particularly intent on cancer awareness as a cause.
“I’m on the board of the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce, and we wanted to help the community,” she said. “And this is what we thought would be the best way to help the community.”
Pick said the board chose Ulman Cancer Fund because of its focus on young adults and its commitment to making sure patient navigators visit hospitals to educate patients about treatment options.
Pick said the chamber spends an entire year planning for the race. “[The chamber is] the connection between what is happening in the community, and they sponsor various events throughout the year that provide funds for the community to enhance the growth in the Pikesville community,” she said.
Pick is an instructor at Baltimore Fitness & Tennis and began the day’s activities with a Zumba warmup before the start of the 5K race. She said the marriage between philanthropy and physical activity is one that brings her a tremendous amount of joy.
“I love fitness, and my love of fitness carries over to this because I love seeing people become physically active,” she said. “So it’s a win-win situation. We’re helping other people as well
Jessica Normington, who is executive director of the chamber, ran the race for the second time. She said it is Pikesville’s largest annual fundraiser and puts the community on the map.
“Most of our sponsors are all chamber members or active community members so we really do look to those for support,” she said. “And we have a lot of teams this year that are chamber members.”
Baltimore resident Vicky Rogers ran the race for the first time with two colleagues from the Weigh Smart program. She said she enjoys running 5Ks and supporting local charities.
“We just love the fact that there’s these community resources around to help kids, both through the cancer
research and also to help families be active and kids be active,” she said.
Pikesville resident Quint Kessenich, who finished 21st in the 5K, said this is his third year running the race. His wife and daughter also attended the event.
“We live nearby and go to LifeBridge, and it’s always a nice little fun event during the summer here when we see a lot of friends and people from the community,” he said.
Among the participants was District 11 Delegate Dan Morhaim, who is also a local physician — something he said informs his judgement about why the race is so important.
“The more we do events like this that are positive and upbeat and energized — they are wonderful,” he said. “And as a physician I certainly support those things as well because I see it in my life.”
Morhaim said cancer affects everyone in the community in some way.
“There’s not a family I know of that hasn’t been touched by cancer, including mine, and so anything that helps deal with cancer prevention, cancer treatment, cancer support is a good thing,” he said.