Triangle Race for the Cure Turns 25 (5.1.21)

Komen NCTC race sneakers

The 2021 (virtual) Triangle Race for the Cure, presented by DCI, will be held on May 1, but there are also many fun activities to try in April to support the cause. Join the Celebration! And Join Team DCI!

by Frances Rogers, Senior Communications Specialist, & Julie Poucher Harbin, Senior Writer, DCI

Komen Triangle Race for the Cure flyer

The 2021 Susan G. Komen Triangle Race for the Cure, presented by Duke Cancer Institute (DCI), will be held on Saturday, May 1. Once again, the event will be a virtual #RaceWhereYouAre experience.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event.

The event raises funds for critically important breast cancer research (DCI scientists have, to date, received more than $20 million in research grants from Susan B. Komen) as well as for supportive care for patients (such as the Komen Helpline, the Treatment Assistance Program, and the African-American Health Equity Initiative).

“Celebrating our 25th anniversary and those who have ensured the event’s longevity and success, including longtime partners like Duke Cancer Institute, is top-of-mind for organizers,” said Komen Triangle to the Coast event organizers in a media release earlier this year.  

Duke Cancer Institute assistant professor Sarah Sammons, MD, has been named the Susan G. Komen Triangle Race for the Cure’s first ever medical chair. In addition to the medical chair role, Sammons joins an all-star lineup of Team DCI honorary co-captains that includes Susan Dent, MD; Karen Johnson, MD, MS; Vijay Paryani, MD; and Laura Rosenberger, MD.

“As the medical chair of the event and a breast cancer researcher and oncologist at DCI, I want to make a greater impact in securing new and better treatments for patients that will extend their lives, with the ultimate goal of a cure. This can only be achieved by research funding,” said Sammons. “This past year has been extremely challenging for us all. Our patients who’ve been facing both breast cancer and the isolation of a global pandemic need us now more than ever.”

Sarah Sammons, MD
Sarah Sammons, MD

Breast cancer will affect one in eight women in the United States and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer) in this country.

Participants in last year’s Komen Triangle Race for the Cure — held in September after being postponed from May — raised more than $500,000.

Many teams and individuals logged their miles and shared photos via social media from their neighborhoods, parks, and even beaches as part of 2020’s #RaceWhereYouAre. Organizers are hoping to see the same enthusiasm this year as participants once again set a course for a self-designed 5K run or fitness walk. This year, event organizers have set a fundraising goal of $55,000.

The race-day program on May 1, will, like last year, be hosted via Facebook Live and will include a live warm-up to send participants off on their remote 5K routes, a survivor/thriver meet-up, recognition of top fundraising individuals and teams, and messages of support from community partners.

Komen Race for the Cure 2020
Dr. Dent (left) logged steps for Team DCI during rounds for last year's Komen Triangle Race for the Cure — held on Sept. 12, 2020. A lady stilt-walker (at right) helped Dr. Sammons raise money for Team DCI while entertaining the neighborhood kids.

Participants are also invited to engage in some fun pre-event activities including a Pink Pet Photo Contest (April 1 to 11), Shop for the Cure (April 15) and daily events connected with Pink Week (April 26 to 30). Details can be found on the Triangle Race for the Cure website.

“Participating in these Race for the Cure events is a great opportunity for anyone and everyone who has been touched by breast cancer to join together — even remotely — to make a difference in the fight against this disease,” said Tina Piccirilli, who assists in coordinating DCI events and sponsorships. “The Race for the Cure creates a real sense of community, both celebrating breast cancer survivorship and honoring the memories of those who have passed away.”

Join Team Duke Cancer Institute, now! 

NOTE: There is a $25 fee to register this year. This fee is non-refundable, non-transferable, and is not tax deductible. Registrants will receive an event t-shirt and access to programming leading up to and on Race Day.

For any issues with website registration, please contact Marisa Madia (