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August 22, 2006

Champion marathoner Bill Rodgers to appear at Sept. 10 U-M fundraiser run/walk for diabetes research

Race for Reason 5K event will help fund research on diabetic nerve damage

ANN ARBOR, MI – The fight against diabetes is a marathon struggle to understand and prevent damage caused by high blood sugar. Nearly 21 million Americans have diabetes, and all of them face serious long-term health problems unless better treatment and prevention strategies are found.

Bill RodgersOn Sunday, Sept. 10 in Ann Arbor, a renowned marathon runner will join the marathon fight against diabetes, by acting as master of ceremonies for the U-M’s fourth annual Race for Reason. The five-kilometer walk and run will raise money for University of Michigan diabetes research.

Bill Rodgers, a four-time winner of both the New York City and Boston marathons, 1976 Olympian and member of the U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame, will be U-M’s special guest for the 5K event. Rodgers will run with participants, and be available after the race to sign copies of his book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Running.”

The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with registration and check-in on the Ingalls Mall at the heart of the U-M campus, near the Burton Tower and Michigan League. The run and walk will start at 9 a.m., on a course that will wind through the beautiful woods and gardens of the U-M Nichols Arboretum. Free T-shirts and refreshments will be available for all participants, and prizes will be given for the top finishers.

Registration for the Race for Reason is $15 for adults, $10 for children age 12 and under. Additional donations by participants or their supporters are also welcome. Advance registration is suggested; more information and an online registration form are available at Prospective participants may also e-mail or call 734-615-8933 with questions.

The event will help raise money and awareness for the U-M’s Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, the new name for the former Program for Understanding Neurological Diseases. Led by neurologist Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., the program’s dozens of scientists and medical researchers study many diseases that affect nerve cells in the body and brain.

One of the program’s main goals is to find ways to prevent or treat nerve damage in the legs, hands and body caused by diabetes. This condition, called diabetic neuropathy, affects half of all people with diabetes and can lead to disability and amputation.

Rodgers, who watched a family member struggle with diabetes, has worked before to raise awareness and funds for diabetes, including several American Diabetes Association events.

Written by Kara Gavin

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