Undie-clad local runs for cancer cure
Saturday's Underwear Affair will mark Lauren van Keulen's fifth race
Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 06:00 am
Visit their team page here: http://bit.ly/1hNniFi
Whoever pledges Lauren van Keulen the most money by Saturday will get to pick the skivvies she will run in.
Up until Wednesday, it was her grandma.
ďI donít think she knew about the outfit,Ē chuckles van Keulen.
Had Grandma been the highest bidder, she probably would have picked long johns or underthings a tad more conservative than a sport bra and shorts, admits the 24-year-old.
Van Keulenís sister was her lucky stylist one year and chose an í80s themed workout outfit, complete with high-waisted bikini bottoms and sweatbands.
Saturdayís Underwear Affair starting at the Butterdome in Edmonton will mark van Keulenís fifth 10-kilometre race, a fundraiser for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
ďItís fun, goofy and low pressure,Ē she says.
Runners are encouraged to take to the streets in their underwear to raise awareness for cancers that occur below the belt. They can partake in a five-kilometre or 10-kilometre race or the Booty Hunt Ė a scavenger hunt.
The St. Albert resident first participated in 2010 as an engineering student at the University of Alberta. Initially she was hesitant because she didnít think she could finish the course.
ďA lot of people donít sign up because they donít think they can do it. Thatís not true,Ē says van Keulen, shaking her head. ďAnyone can do it.Ē
Van Keulen spearheaded her own team the following year.
Itís one thing to pick a goal and run for yourself, she says, but itís different when you are running to raise money and other people are counting on you.
The cause is important to the 24-year-old because three members of her family have had brushes with cancer. Her grandmother survived ovarian cancer, her father-in-law had testicular cancer and her father had a cancerous cyst removed in 2010.
ďYou might get tired during the run, but thatís nothing compared to those who are fighting cancer,Ē says van Keulen.
ďItís such a small thing I can do to raise awareness.Ē
Van Keulen has raised more than $5,000 for the Underwear Affair over the past five years.
The proceeds support research for new cancer therapies through the Alberta Cancer Foundation at the Cross Cancer Institute, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and 15 other centres across the province. Funds raised by the event over the past eight years total more than $10.9 million.