Category Archives: 5K

Running and skin cancer prevention

By Danielle Pavliv

Exercise reduces your risk of cancer and many other diseases, but running outdoors can increase your risk of skin cancer if you don’t follow a few simple rules.

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise. It can be done anywhere, doesn’t require a gym or any special equipment (although some people prefer to use a treadmill)-just a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothing. Running outside — whether on a track, in the woods, or on a path by the river — can be a wonderful and restorative way to exercise. Nature and exercise are both great ways to improve your mood.

Running regularly can lower the risk of many health problems including heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and bone fracture, diabetes, and obesity.[end Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: The evidence. Canadian Medical Journal. 2006; 174(6):801-809.] In addition, it can improve mental health and blood pressure.[end Paluska SA, Schwenk TL. Physical activity and mental health: Current concepts. Sports Medicine. 2000;29(3):167-180.] However, many people don’t take proper precautions when they decide to go running outside, and the results can be deadly.

Imagine this: it’s a nice day outside, so you decide to go for a jog, wearing running shorts and a t-shirt. You probably don’t spend too much time thinking about what to wear — you simply notice what the temperature is, put on something comfortable, and go. Sunscreen seems like a hassle, and you think you’ll probably sweat it off anyway. It’s not like you will be laying out at the pool or playing golf all day, so how much harm can a 30-minute run cause anyway?

While many of us try to protect our skin when spending time outside, data show that just over half of all American adults usually take at least one of these three precautions:  seeking shade, using sunscreen, or wearing sun-protective clothing.[end Sun-Protective Behavior Rates. Skin Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 2011. Available at:] People who don’t do any of these are at much higher risk for skin cancer.

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. In the U.S., accounting for almost half of all cancers and affecting over 2 million people each year. One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.[end Robinson JK. Sun exposure, sun protection, and vitamin D. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2005;294(12):1541-1543.] There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer. They rarely spread to other areas of the body, and are very treatable. Squamous cell carcinomas, on the other hand, can spread to organs and other areas in the body and can be fatal if they are not caught early. The third type of skin cancer, melanomas, are the least common but most dangerous — they kill more than 8,600 Americans every year.[end Skin Cancer Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 2012. Available at:] If found early, however, melanomas can be treated. Melanomas are most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds. They usually resemble moles and are often black or brown. Most change over time, including an increase in size.[end National Cancer Institute. Signs and symptoms of melanoma. U.S. National Institutes of Health. January 11, 2011. Available at:] In recent years, incidence of melanoma has increased significantly, especially in those with fair skin. While melanoma is more prevalent in men than women, rates of diagnoses and death are increasing for both men and women.

Is exercising outside more risky than just relaxing outside?

In 2006, Dr. Christina Ambros-Rudolph and colleagues at the Medical University of Graz in Austria conducted a study to see if marathon runners are at higher risk of melanoma than people who don’t run as regularly.[end Ambros-Rudolph CM, Hofmann-Wellenhof R, Richtig E, Müller-Fürstner M, Soyer HP, Kerl H, Dermatol A. Malignant Melanoma in Marathon Runners. Archives of Dermatology. 2006;142(11):1471-1474.] They examined over 200 runners and found that they are at increased risk for skin cancer. In fact, runners who trained the most intensively had the highest rates of skin lesions. Almost all of the athletes wore shirts and shorts that did not totally cover their arms, back and legs, and only 56% wore sunscreen. Although there was a clear link between sun exposure and skin lesions, the researchers found another reason the athletes who had more intense workouts were more prone to skin cancer. Endurance exercise such as long-distance running suppresses immune function in the body, which is why extreme athletes are often more susceptible to infections than others. This can release a type of protein called cytokines, limiting the ability of the body’s immune system to fight off potential cancers. In addition, sweating a lot while outside is linked to skin cancer. The wetter your skin, the more UV rays are absorbed, which means that exercising on sunny days can be much more dangerous for your skin than just sitting or laying down in the sun.

How to stay safe outside

You don’t have to give up running outside — there are plenty of ways to protect yourself outside for exercise or any other activity. Try to do as many of these as possible each time you go out in order to lower your risk for melanoma or other types of skin cancer:

  • Use a generous amount of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, even on cloudy days — cloud cover only blocks out one type of UV rays. Reapply often, especially if you are sweating or in the water. Use a water-resistant sunscreen that will stay on when you swim or sweat.
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest. If you want to go for a run outside, try to do it early in the morning or right before sunset.
  • Put on some sunglasses with high UV absorption to protect your eyes, and a hat to protect your face.
  • Wear clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through. Try to avoid regularly exposing areas of your body such as your shoulders, neck and chest. To prevent overheating, wear light-colored clothing that reflects the sun’s rays.
  • Look for shade: try to do your stretches and other exercises in a shaded area.

Choosing a sunscreen

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone wears a water-resistant sunscreen of at least 30 SPF daily.[end American Academy of Dermatology Sunscreen Website. Stats and Facts. Prevention and Care. Sunscreens. 2012. Available at:] Further, they recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both types of UV rays (UVA and UVB). You can use the Environmental Working Group’s website to find out which sunscreen really work and don’t contain a lot of harmful and even cancer-causing ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t regulate sunscreen until June 2012. Prior to that date, there was no guarantee that the sunscreen you were slathering on your body actually protected you or did what the label claimed. Now, manufacturers are required to label their products accurately and are held to safety and effectiveness standards.[end FDA sheds light on sunscreens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. June 2012. Available at:] When choosing a product, remember that a sunscreen with twice the SPF does not mean you can stay outside in the sun twice as long before you get a sunburn. The intensity of UV radiation matters just as much as how long you are in the sun, which is why it’s so important that you limit your exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.[end Jou PC, Feldman RJ, Tomecki KJ. UV protection and sunscreens: What to tell patients. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. June 2012;79(6):427-436.]

Make sure to regularly check your body for any new moles or scaly patches. If they change size, form or color, visit a dermatologist. If you have skin cancer in your family, you will likely want to get your moles checked regularly.

Sun damage is permanent and irreversible, so it’s important to take good care of your skin throughout your life. Remember — a tan is a sign of skin damage. There’s no such thing as a “healthy” tan!

For more information about the most dangerous type of skin cancer, see

2013 Stop Cancer Now 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run on Sunday, September 22 at 10 a.m.

Early Packet Pick-up is Saturday September 21: Get your T-shirts and Bibs ahead of time and receive a 20% coupon off all REI products – @ Georgetown Running Company, Saturday 9/21, 12pm-4pm
Georgetown Running Company Address: 3401 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20007 (in Georgetown)

Race Registration/Start/Finish: At the corner of Potomac St. NW and Grace St. NW in Georgetown, Washington, DC on the Potomac River side of the Canal. Start/Finish is on the C&O Canal Trail near the end of 33rd St. NW access road.

Potomac St NW & Grace St NW
Washington, D.C., DC 20007

Note: If you are using GPS, closest street address is: 1000 Potomac Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. (This will get you to the access street where registration is, but park before turning onto Potomac Street):

Check-in and Same Day Registration/Packet Pick-up: On the brick area at Potomac St. NW & Grace St. NW (access off of K St. NW if driving OR can access via foot bridge from M St. NW directly behind Dean and Deluca). Race day check-in is from 8:45 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Bag check will be next to the check-in/registration tables. IMPORTANT: Arrive early for good parking! (Parking is free!)

Pre-Race Warm Up: At 9:30 a.m. led by Fitness Together (near the check-in area). Look for Fitness Together sign, and warm up will be announced 5 minutes before.

Race Day Food and Fun: The North Face will be providing their Demo Shoe program during the race along with free reusable water bottles. Try on a pair of their running shoes, run or walk the 5K, then return! There will be North Face representatives there to help with sizing or questions about purchasing.

Food and coffee provided by Starbucks, Harris Teeter, and Trader Joe’s

Stroller Policy: Strollers allowed on race day!

For Everyone’s Safety: Competitive runners please make your way to the start line at 9:45 a.m. Anyone with strollers or children, please line up behind.

Pace: This is a flat and fast course. Although there will be plenty of space along the canal (with some narrow spots along the course), please be mindful of your fellow runners and walkers and stay to the right side of the trail.

Age Divisions: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+

Prizes: The top female and male runners in each age category will receive a prize. All children 13 and under registered for the race will receive a blue ribbon.

Metro details (Orange and Blue lines): Rosslyn Metro opens at 7a.m. It is a 15 minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro across the Key Bridge into Georgetown to get to the start of the race.

Bus Details: DC Circulator, Metrobus lines: 31, 32, 36, 38B, D1, D2, D3, D5, D6, G2. Circulator opens at 7 a.m.
Visit Trip Planner on to find the fastest and easiest route.

Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund 5k Run/Walk: Race Results

Bluemont Park, Arlington, Virginia

Sunday, October 3, 2010

##  Name                        G Age City State           Time     M  F     Award

1 Ted Poulos                   M  48 McLean VA            18:33    1         M 1

2  Mark Walchinsky              M  31 Alexandria VA        18:57    2      M25-34 1

3  Jack Kammerer                M  48 Washington DC        19:06    3     M45&over 1

4  Bill Stahr                   M  49 The Plains VA        20:02    4     M45&over 2

5  Jim Casey                    M  45 Arlington VA         20:09    5     M45&over 3

6  Nicholas Anthony Girardi     M  23 Lynbrook NY          21:24    6      M13-24 1

7  Richard R. Cappetto          M  23 Falls Church VA      21:31    7      M13-24 2

8  Steve Duboi                  M  40 Washington DC        21:33    8      M35-44 1

9  Timothy Paul Gerhart         M  25 Arlington VA         22:09    9      M25-34 2

10 Margaret Aker                F  22 Washington DC        22:23       1      F 1

11 Karen Young                  F  42 Boyds MD             22:28       2   F35-44 1

12 Kyle James Schoembs          M  26 Vienna VA            22:58   10      M25-34 3

13 Brian Joseph Femiano         M  28 Centreville VA       23:36   11

14 Judy Abid                    F  30 Alexandria VA        23:43       3   F25-34 1

15 Jeffrey Rini                 M  31 Arlington VA         24:34   12

16 Robert S. Weiner             M  63 Accokeek MD          24:39   13

17 David Drane                  M  35 Alexandria VA        25:04   14      M35-44 2

18 Donald Plant                 M  49 Woodbridge VA        25:18   15

19 Addison Cochrane             F  21 Chicago IL           25:47       4   F13-24 1

20 Alex Crabill                 M  22 Los Angeles CA       25:49   16      M13-24 3

21 Benjamin Stevens             M  24 Herndon VA           25:54   17

22 Tracy Tartaglione            F  35 Leesburg VA          26:34       5   F35-44 2

23 Amy Gray                     F  25 Virginia Beach VA    26:44       6   F25-34 2

24 Sam Desai                    M  32 Arlington VA         26:57   18

25 Matt Weibel                  M  22 Arlington VA         27:05   19

26 Sean Boyd                    M  26 Fairfax VA           27:30   20

27 Maggie Young                 F  27 Herndon VA           27:35       7   F25-34 3

28 Alan Young                   M  33 Herndon VA           27:36   21

29 Carrie Pellegrino            F  34 Sterling VA          27:50       8

30 Michael Allen Coyle          M  38 Arlington VA         28:07   22      M35-44 3

31 Catherine Ann Harner         F  27 Alexandria VA        28:31       9

32 Helen Carroll                F  10 Arlington VA         28:34      10  F12&under 1

33 Jonathan Carroll             M  40 Arlington VA         28:36   23

34 Melissa Pettersen            F  25 Arlington VA         28:51      11

35 Dorothy Sheehan              F  32 Stafford VA          28:53      12

36 Chris Sheehan                M  35 Stafford VA          28:56   24

37 Alicia Colgan                F  39 Stafford VA          28:57      13   F35-44 3

38 Carrie Heath                 F  28 Alexandria VA        29:16      14

39 Liz Guertin                  F  36 Washington DC        29:34      15

40 Rebecca A. Newman            F  33 Washington DC        29:36      16

41 Chris DiVenere               M  39 Chantilly VA         29:40   25

42 Danielle E. Mantz            F  21 College Park MD      30:17      17   F13-24 2

43 Tracy Rimdzius               F  37 Arlington VA         30:28      18

44 Pinsuda Alexander            F  33 Washington DC        30:39      19

45 Stephanie Schoembs           F  24 Vienna VA            30:41      20   F13-24 3

46 Christopher McCaskill        M  44 Alexandria VA        30:50   26

47 Gary Kalman                  M  47 Washington DC        31:02   27

48 Jane Hartman                 F  42 Washington DC        31:05      21

49 Nick Panteleos               M  36 Arlington VA         31:15   28

50 Sarah Jane Niazi             F  23 Annapolis MD         31:24      22

51 Colleen Quinn                F  23 Arlington VA         31:31      23

52 Rebecca Niazi                F  20 Annapolis MD         31:35      24

53 Jessica Johnson              F  33 Alexandria VA        31:50      25

54 David Plant                  M  26 Arlington VA         31:58   29

55 Melissa Kane                 F  12 Dale City VA         32:18      26  F12&under 2

56 Jordan Casey                 F  12 Fredericksburg VA    32:20      27  F12&under 3

57 Kela Casey                   F  36 Fredericksburg VA    32:23      28

58 Taylor Casey                 F  10 Fredericksburg VA    32:39      29

59 Richard Rodriguez            M  18 Arlington VA         32:41   30

60 Jane Wachtmeister            F  25 Washington DC        33:09      30

61 Leslie Klein                 F  29 Arlington VA         33:13      31

62 Linda Brennan                F  41 Vienna VA            33:16      32

63 Lisa Sepassi Weiser          F  33 Herndon VA           33:18      33

64 Michelle Lynn Harrison       F  36 Jeffersonton VA      34:32      34

65 Kari Welch                   F  32 Arlington VA         34:34      35

66 Allyn Brooks-LaSure          M  32 Arlington VA         36:08   31

67 Kelly Griffiths              F  33 Silver Spring MD     36:10      36

68 Jo-Ellen Truelove O'Dell     F  41 Catonsville MD       36:14      37

69 Athena Henderson             F  38 Warrenton VA         36:35      38

70 Tim Ramsey                   M  51 Alexandria VA        36:45   32

71 Megan K. Roberson            F  23 Arlington VA         36:54      39

72 Diane H. Plant               F  52 Woodbridge VA        36:55      40  F45&over 1

73 Laura Mancini                F  25 Mechanicsville MD    37:25      41

74 Colleen McCarthy             F  25 Gaithersburg MD      37:26      42

75 Anne Sidney                  F  40 Falls Church VA      37:38      43

76 Bobby Sidney                 M  40 Falls Church VA      37:39   33

77 Amanda P. Smith              F  30 Dumfries VA          38:34      44

78 Trigie Ealey                 F  40 Arlington VA         38:43      45

79 Jeffrey Smith                M  30 Dumfries VA          38:44   34

80 Maria Panteleos              F  35 Arlington VA         38:45      46

81 Robert Mostow M 57 Washington DC 38:49 35

82 Cynthia Chapman              F  39 Occoquan VA          39:26      47

83 Toula Christou               F  37 Arlington VA         40:01      48

84 Sallie Dewar                 F  36 Arlington VA         44:57      49

85 Shawn Casey                  M  7  Fredericksburg VA    46:05   36     M12&under 1

86 Denise Kane                  F  41 Dale City VA         46:06      50

87 Douglas Johnson              M  64 Dale City VA         47:09   37

88 Tyler Thompson               M  25 Washington DC        50:45   38

89 Kellie K. Powell             F  38 Springfield VA       51:37      51

90 Joel O. Powell               M  40 Springfield VA       51:38   39

91 Joanne Soliman               F  26 Alexandria VA        52:31      52

92 Tanya Dorsey                 F  39 Odenton MD           56:52      53

93 Shirley O. Davis             F  31 Alexandria VA        56:59      54

94 Justin Covert                M  30 Arlington VA        1:06:36  40

95 Vic Cora                     M  40 Arlington VA        1:07:25  41

96 Rosemary Cora                F  40 Arlington VA        1:07:27     55