MLB on Wednesday announced the return of the popular event after a one-year hiatus due to high temps in Phoenix, site of the last All-Star Week. All net proceeds from the event will be donated to three charities committed to research and education: Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
"The All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run provides fans with a unique way to be part of the All-Star festivities while raising awareness and funds for an important cause that effects every person," said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president, business. "Because of the event's popularity and success in the past, MLB is excited to bring it back in 2012 for the great baseball fans in Kansas City."
Previous ASG 5K events have been in St. Louis (2009) and Anaheim (2010). Participants in Kansas City will run and walk on an All-Star themed course, which is in development, featuring appearances by MLB legends, mascots and celebrity guests. In Anaheim, for example, Jillian Michaels and Hall of Famer Rod Carew were among those who started the runners.
The officially timed 5K will start at 7:30 a.m. CT and the family-friendly 1-mile Fun Run begins a half-hour later, on the Sunday of All-Star Week. All registered finishers will receive a commemorative All-Star medal and T-shirt. Signups now include a special earlybird price of $25 (adult) and $20 (under-13) for the 5K and $20 (adult) and $15 (under-13) for the Fun Run. Space is limited so participants are encouraged to sign up early. Registration and event information is at AllStarGame.com/5k.
"We continue to work with Major League Baseball on the activities that will make up All-Star Week 2012 and we are excited to announce the first of many events, the All-Star Charity 5K & Fun Run," said Kevin Uhlich, the Royals' vice president of business. "The 5K and Fun Run will be great for downtown Kansas City, a fun experience for the participants and a terrific help to the recipients of the money raised."
The ASG 5K records are held by Zac Freudenburg for men (15:21 in 2009) and Vivien Wadeck (17:49 in 2010) for women. Wadeck was the top female finisher in each of the first two events so it will be interesting to see whether she returns for Kansas City. The inaugural 5K in St. Louis drew 8,000 runners and the second one in Anaheim had a field of more than 9,000.
"It's good to hear they are bringing it back," said Wadeck, 32, who is coming off foot and ankle stress fractures in the last year. "I'm healthy now and it would be kind of neat to do the third one. I'd be kind of bummed if some other person won it. It's always nice to have competition. I may do it. I've never been out to Kansas City (so) there's a good chance I'll go out and do it.
"Why not? It's for a great cause, so it makes it more special. It's great because (the dignitaries) all get up and talk and people share the different stories about why they are there. It's not just another race, like hey, the gun goes off."
In 2012, participants will have the opportunity for the first time to register and create their own "All-Star" profile page online, which highlights their favorite league and MLB club, a personal photo, and allows them to share their story. Participants will have the opportunity to earn All-Star themed online badges, as they recruit friends to join their ASG 5K roster and raise funds for Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Two All-Star MVP badges will be awarded on July 8 to the top recruiter and fundraiser.
"Stand Up To Cancer is proud to once again partner with Major League Baseball for the 2012 All- Star Game Charity 5K and Fun Run," said SU2C co-founder Rusty Robertson. "When the first 5K and Fun Run event was launched in St. Louis three years ago, we gained tremendous support from fans and saw that cancer truly does touch everyone. With the extraordinary, ongoing support of Major League Baseball we are able to continue our mission of accelerated cancer research to save lives now."
"The Prostate Cancer Foundation looks forward to the MLB All-Star program each year, and the 5K event has become an important tradition," said Dave Perron, vice president of baseball and sports enterprise at the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "We are extremely grateful to MLB for its dedication to raising crucial funds and awareness for cancer research, and we look forward to another successful partnership built around the All-Star Game and its varied activities."
"The entire Susan G. Komen family is so grateful for Major League Baseball's support and partnership over the past eight years," said Katrina McGhee, Komen's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "Breast cancer is not only difficult for the patient -- a diagnosis affects the entire family. The awareness and funds raised by Major League Baseball enables Susan G. Komen to help families around the world in our promise to end breast cancer forever."