Blue skies welcomed a record-breaking 1,921 runners to the 16th Annual Hannibal Cannibal. For the second year in a row, the 2011 Cannibal broke all milestones for the race, topping 2010’s participation by 8% with racers from 32 states and Australia.
As the starting cannon went off at 7 am, runners and walkers took off along the scenic route through downtown Hannibal and out Highway 79. Along the way they were cheered on by volunteers at water stations manned by team members from the James E. Cary Cancer Center, the Hannibal Clinic, Hannibal Regional Medical Group, and the Emergency Department of Hannibal Regional Hospital. Volunteers from the Hannibal Regional Hospital Auxiliary and other hospital departments met the participants at the finish line with wet towels and water.
Funds from the Hannibal Cannibal will benefit the year-long Rays of Hope campaign, which is raising funds for equipment and resources at the James E. Cary Cancer Center (JECCC). Rays of Hope sought to generate $100,000 this year and now has far exceeded that goal. Success with the Rays of Hope campaign will allow the purchase of advanced technology, providing greater precision in radiation therapy for patients at the JECCC.
"Hannibal Regional Hospital Foundation is so proud of this event and the success the Hannibal Cannibal continues to have each year," said Wendy Harrington, President/CEO of Hannibal Regional Hospital Foundation. "We’d like to thank all of the participants for supporting Hannibal Regional Hospital Foundation, the James E. Cary Cancer Center and the Hannibal Children’s Center.”
In all, it takes nearly 200 volunteers to put the race on each year. “The Cannibal wouldn’t be possible without all of our fabulous volunteers and sponsors,” explained Robin Doyle, Hannibal Cannibal Co-Race Director. “They work so hard behind the scenes, and the event runs like a well-oiled machine. Everyone has a great time doing it.”
This year’s Cannibal is now history, but planning for the 2012 race is underway, according to Angie Wilcoxson, Hannibal Cannibal Co-Race Director. “The Fourth falls on a Wednesday next year, but the Cannibal will still be on Saturday, in conjunction with National Tom Sawyer days. After the Jaycees have set the dates for National Tom Sawyer days, we will post the race date on our website.”
To see more photos from the Cannibal, click here. To see official timings of the event, visit hannibalcannibal.com. You can also ‘like’ the Hannibal Cannibal on Facebook.