If there’s one thing everyone can get behind, it’s the fight against cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a global campaign to raise funds, educate the public, and express support for women and their loved ones.
It wasn’t long ago that breast cancer was considered a taboo topic. (A notable example was the environmentalist Rachel Carson, who kept her diagnosis a secret.) When the American Cancer Association and Imperial Chemical Industries founded the campaign in 1985, they had no idea how broadly it would spread: Today you’ll find pink ribbons all over the world.
For nearly 30 years, supporters have raised awareness through walks and runs, which serves the triple purpose of encouraging exercise, spreading the word, and drawing donations. There is at least one event every weekend next month, many offering options for walkers, wheelchair participants, children, and more. Here are four major events coming up in October:
Dr. Anna Ross Walk and Run Against Cancer (Oct. 5)
The largest event of the month also comes first: Named after the beloved physician and health administrator, the Dr. Anna Ross Walk and Run Against Cancer draws thousands of people every year. The Dr. Ross Foundation both raises money for cancer research and advocates for patients. See Paseo Colón awash in pink T-shirts a week from Sunday.
Anna Ross Caminata Contra Cáncer takes place Oct. 5 in Paseo Colón, downtown San José. 7 a.m. Race ₡10,000 ($20), walk free. Info: Event Facebook page.
“Corre por Mí” 4K-8K-Walk (Oct. 12)
The sixth edition of the “Run for Me” walk-run combo offers something for everyone. There are both 8K and 4K races that allow runners to cross the finish line in the National Stadium, a free 2K walk, kids’ activities and music. Funds raised at last year’s event supported the “Pink Tour,” a free breast-cancer educational outreach initiative, and the Calderón Guardia Hospital Foundation for Cancer Patients.
“Corre por Mí” 4K-8K-Walk takes place Oct. 12 in front of the ICE Building on the north side of Sabana Park. 7:30 am. Race ₡10,000 ($20), walk free. Info: Event website.
McDonald’s Women’s 5K Run (Oct. 19)
Nothing says “breast cancer awareness” like a fast-food chain. What’s interesting about the McDonald’s 5K Run is that it is specifically designed for women – no boys allowed – although men are encouraged to show their support from the sidelines. Can’t find the starting line? Just head to Pavas and keep an eye out for golden arches.
Las Mujeres Corremos takes place Oct. 19 at McDonald’s, Pavas. 8 a.m. ₡10,500 ($21). Info: Event website.
Avon Run-Walk Against Breast Cancer (Oct. 26)
Avon is best known for its beauty products and door-to-door saleswomen, but the company is also enthusiastic about women’s health. Like the Dr. Ross event, the Avon Run-Walk takes place on Paseo Colón. True to its namesake, this race looks fabulous.
Avon Caminata Carrera Contra Cáncer de Mama takes place Oct. 26, Paseo Colón, downtown San José. 7 a.m. Race ₡10,000 ($20), walk free. Info: Event website.