The cool temps and rainy weather did not stop Team WRAL from pulling out all the stops for the 2017 Komen Race for the Cure. For the first time, the event moved to May, taking place on Saturday, May 6, with a full slate of WRAL staffers on hand for the fun. For the second year in a row, the Race for the Cure took over The Frontier in Research Triangle Park, a change of venue due to the ongoing construction on Hillsborough Street.
Social Inspiration For a Cure
WRAL brought another change to the event this year. The social inspiration board had a totally new feel, a vision the WRAL Services Team had a few years ago and were able to bring to full fruition.
“The display was actually 16 FEET by 9 FEET!” WRAL-TV Social Media Manager Wendy Gatlin excitedly explained. She tapped her daughter, Jayden, to make sure the board was populated with new and fresh social updates, making the day a true family affair.
Gatlin also explained the Mobile Events provided the LED screens.
“The owner, Robert, is a very generous person and is a cancer survivor himself,” she said. “He gave us a really good deal on the screens.”
FOX 50 Creative Services Coordinator Sierra Clarke helped out with the social inspiration board and manned the WRAL tent during the morning of the Race.
“I was using a program called ‘tagboard’ to see user photos from the race and feature them on a giant screen,” explained Clarke. “Any user on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram who used the hashtag #KomenTri on their photos I was able to view. It was so inspiring to see participants’ photos and meet WRAL fans at such a special event.”
Reasons for Running
More than 6,000 people signed up for the 2017 Komen Race for the Cure and filled The Frontier, including Team WRAL. Several CBC’ers had personal reasons for joining the team.
“My mom and mother-in-law are breast cancer survivors, and I lost a friend to the disease,” said WRAL-TV Assistant News Director Aysu Basaran. “This race has always been near and dear to my heart, so it doesn’t matter to me that the race date moved or the location changed. I just want to represent my family, honor my friend and show support for other women.”
WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Ken Smith has multiple reasons the Race for the Cure impacts him, encompassing a range of emotions.
“This year, my heart was heavy as I ran because I was thinking about a member of my church, Tammy Ellington, who is currently battling her second bought with Breast Cancer,” he said. “She is putting up a brave fight and prayerfully she will win and join the dozens of survivors who paraded in front of the stage Saturday.”
He continued, “Of course Komen remains special for me because I met my bride to be at Komen in 2015. This summer, I get to marry that wonderful woman, Amanda Bitler. We are both looking forward to taking part in Komen and Team WRAL next year.”
Embracing the Change, Having New Experiences
WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Lynda Loveland is a fan of the event, and the May race date.
“Pam Kohl said it best when she said the Komen Triangle Race for the Cure was the coolest race in town,” she said. “What a difference in temperature from last year! Normally I don’t like cool weather but it was perfect to run in!
Loveland is a regular at the Race for the Cure, but added a new role this year.
“This was my first year going up on stage to help emcee with Gerald Owens and Mike Maze,” she continued. “Mike told me the Parade of Survivors would be emotional and he wasn’t kidding. It was incredible to see all those women who’ve been fighting cancer from less than a year to more than 25. They all exuded such strength and power and will to fight. It was an amazing moment and I was truly honored to be part of it.”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Ken Smith, Wendy Gatlin, Lynda Loveland & Aysu Basaran for these capcom photos.