Women who helped start Race for the Cure in Lexington look back on its history

Lexington, Ky. (WKYT) Saturday will mark another annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in downtown Lexington.

Friday volunteers with Komen Kentucky were busy setting up for the big race which starts near the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse.

Two decades ago the idea to bring the race to central Kentucky was the work of a dedicated group of women who just happened to love running.

As WKYT's Amber Philpott reports, this group helped start an event that has made a huge difference and helped in the fight against breast cancer in Kentucky.

"We didn't know what we were doing," said Victoria Meyer.

There are great memories to be re-lived inside what was once the Great Harvest Bread Company in Lexington. Many years ago it was a weekly meeting spot for Victoria Meyer and her girlfriends after their morning runs.

"We all had those wind suit things."

In the late 90's the group of friends noticed a particular subject kept coming up in their conversations.

"We were in our early 40's, late 30's. Friends and acquaintances were having bad experiences with breast cancer and it scared us," said Lydia Short.

As runners they kept hearing about Race for the Cure runs being held to support breast cancer research.

"We registered for the Boston Race for the Cure and got shirts and ran our own route on that morning," said Short.

The idea was born! Lexington needed its own Race for the Cure. Meyer and Short were among the original planning team.

"Every family member and friend was put into doing heavy, hard work," said Meyer.

That first race was held in April of 1997 at the Kentucky Horse Park and it blew them away.

"We thought we would have, what did we say, between 500 and 900. We opened up the pack that said 3000," said Meyer.

Over the last two decades, what they started has become a successful race resulting in countless dollars being raised in the fight against breast cancer.

"It’s really gratifying to think you had a part in being a part in getting it started here," said short.

Even though they don't run anymore, looking back is like a run down memory lane. They have all remained friends and all these years later feel fortunate to have helped start something so important.

"When you see how many women contribute in the community and they are part of inspiring the next generation and they can see what ordinary people have done," said Meyer.

The Race for the Cure starts Saturday 9 am..

The survivor parade will take place at 8:30 at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse in downtown Lexington.

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