Francie Larrieu Smith, world renowned runner and former Olympian, will participate in the Susan G. Komen Foundation Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure on Sunday, July 1, 2001.
She will compete in the 5K run. The day's events also includes a 5K walk and a 1 mile walk.
During an international career that spanned four decades and included 35 American records, Larrieu Smith competed on 28 national teams and won 21 national titles.
Larrieu Smith is a five-time United States Olympic Team member. Her best Olympic finish was fifth place in the 10,000 meter event in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. She was the flag bearer for the U.S. Olympic Team in Barcelona, Spain in 1992.
During the course of her 30 year athletic career Larrieu Smith established 36 United States records and 12 world bests in distances ranging from 1,000 meters to 10,000 meters. She was selected by Runners World magazine as, "The Most Versatile Runner of the Quarter Century."
She is a member of the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame, The Texas Women's Hall of Fame, The Long Distance Running Hall of Fame, and The National Track and Field Hall of Fame. She is also a member of Team New Balance.
Since 1992, Larrieu Smith served as National Honorary Chair of The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, "Race for the Cure." Also, she has served on the board of the Lance Armstrong Foundation since it's inception in 1997.
Currently she is coaching men and women's cross country at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Smith recently completed a master's degree in sport management at the University of Texas in Austin. She resides in Georgetown, Texas with her husband Jimmy C. Smith a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in honor of her sister, Susan, who died at age 36. Since its inception, the Foundation raised more than $300 million toward its mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease, by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.
From a single race in Dallas in 1983 with 800 participants, the foundation expanded to 115 affiliates around the country and internationally, hosting 112 races with 1.3 million participants expected in the year 2000.
Of the net proceeds from these events, 75 percent remains in the local area to fund local grant programs vital to breast cancer screening, education, and treatment, especially for the medically underserved. Twenty-five percent of net funds go directly to the Foundation's research programs.
The Brainerd Lakes Affiliate of the Komen Foundation was incorporated in 2000, hosting its first event July 1 with just more than 700 participants and raising $11,300. The service area for the Brainerd lakes affiliate includes Cass and Crow Wing counties.
In this year's Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure on July 1, participation is expected to reach 1,000.
The 5K race begins at 8:30 a.m. adjacent to the Brainerd High School lower parking lot, with the walks to follow immediately. In addition to age group awards for the racers, all participants will receive T-shirts and "goody" bags and be eligible for door prizes.
The largest team will be receive a plaque as well. Teams can consist of member in any of the events. Breast cancer survivors are honored and recognized with a special pink T-shirt and hat provided by Zeta Tau Alpha.
The person collecting the most donations more than $500 will receive two tickets on American Airlines to any contiguous U.S. location. Entries are available at Chambers of Commerce, Mills Ford, JCPenney, KLIZ, Community Action, many other area businesses, and online at www.brainerdlakesrace.org.
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