By Kendall Rooker
Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall says cancer does not sleep. It isn’t going to go away, even though the world is plagued with coronavirus.
“It is vital right now to give back,” says Hall, a cancer survivor himself. “Many areas in the community are screaming for help. It’s our responsibility to help people out. It’s ongoing. We need to battle it every day.”
Events like the D-backs’ Race Against Cancer create promise, and Hall wasn’t about to stop it because of COVID-19.
The D-backs pivoted the Race Against Cancer to a virtual run in the fall. The race will take place October 17 and October 18, but participants have the flexibility to skip, hop, run or walk the 5K before October 31.
Participants will record their own times on the Runkeeper app, as they run through neighborhoods, parks or even a treadmill. Not in Arizona? No problem. Athletes can run anywhere.
Hall says it was a challenge for the team to host the run this year.
“Even though we have economic struggles, it was more important to give back to the community during these times,” Hall says.
“We were committed to doing more. We (will) give back more during a pandemic.”
Fans will continue to support the D-backs and its charitable endeavors, he adds.
“They’ve always been so supportive,” Hall says. “It’ll be different from looking at the crowd and coordinating teams. Most important is awareness and education about the disease. It’s about research, treatment and early detection of cancer.”
Each registrant will receive swag bags that include a T-shirt, drawstring bag and a medal. D-backs Race Against Cancer packets can be picked up at various locations around the Valley—including Chase Field and Fry’s grocery stores—the week of October 12. More details will be announced shortly. Packets will also be mailed by October 12 via USPS for $5.
Hall and the Diamondbacks encourage participants to map their course and practice it to improve their times. A special hashtag is being created to promote the event.
Out of the postseason, the D-backs expect their players and coaches to be involved, too. Their last game was September 27.
“The next best thing to all being together is keeping this race intact and allowing to let it grow,” Hall says. “When it is back, we’ll have record numbers—all of it is almost because of our fans.”
D-backs Race Against Cancer, dbacks.com, then click on “Community.”