Get Your Rear in Gear brings colon cancer message to Richfield’s Veterans Park Sept. 10

A biker crosses the finish line at a previous Get Your Rear in Gear & Tour de Tush event. (Submitted photo)

To raise awareness about colon cancer, nearly 2,500 runners, walker, bikers and volunteers will take part in a 5K run/walk and 25-mile bike ride Sunday, Sept. 10, at Veterans Memorial Park, 6335 Portland Ave., Richfield.

Presented by Minnesota Gastroenterology, Get Your Rear in Gear & Tour de Tush is in its 13th year as it moves to Veterans Park in its mission to encourage screening for the largely preventable colon cancer, the nation’s number two killer.

The colon cancer community will gather to celebrate survivors, support caregivers and remember those who were taken too soon. A stretch called the Blue Mile will feature tributes to those lost and messages honoring survivors of colon cancer and rectal cancer. In another event feature, a giant inflatable colon will let people see what their doctor sees during a colonoscopy.

The 5K running/walking route starts and ends at Veterans Park. The 25-mile bike route starts in the park and passes Lake Nakomis before following the Mississippi River into downtown Minneapolis, where riders will cross the river and head back toward Veterans Park along the east bank. Registration information is available at ColonCancerCoalition.org/TwinCities.

Get Your Rear in Gear & Tour de Tush begins at 8:45 a.m. with the Kids’ Fun Run. The 25-mile bike ride begins at 9 a.m., with the timed 5K starting five minutes later. The registration fee includes entry into the bike ride or 5K, a T-shirt, refreshments and admission to an after-party commencing at 11 a.m. at the Richfield American Legion, which neighbors Veterans Park. Donations will be accepted at the door of the after-party for those who do not participate in the run or ride.

The Edina-based Colon Cancer Coalition hosts the event each year. Previous editions of Get your Rear in Gear have supported the Minnesota Department of Health’s SAGE Scopes Screening Program, which provides screenings and treatment for un- or under-insured Minnesotans; and the American Indian Cancer Foundation, which supports stronger colorectal cancer education, outreach and navigation in tribal communities.

Funds have also been used for programming and materials to help families identify their cancer history and mitigate the risk of genetic cancers.

­— Compiled by Andrew Wig