On your mark, get set, go!: Blue Ribbon Run, a colon cancer awareness race, set for March 25

Blue Ribbon Run set for March 25 at Long Leaf Park
Blue Ribbon Run set for March 25 at Long Leaf Park(Ana Brown)
Updated: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:40 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The 12th annual Blue Ribbon Run is set for March 25 at 4 p.m. Hundreds of runners have already signed up to race around Long Leaf Park. The 5k race raises awareness about colorectal cancer.

Ana Brown is the co-founder of the Blue Ribbon Run. Her sister, Julie Brown, died from colon cancer in 2011 at just 41 years old. Ana is now on an endless mission to raise awareness and encourage people over 45 and those with a family history to get a colonoscopy.

The same year Julie died, another 41-year-old woman lost her battle with colorectal cancer. Christina Gianoplus was diagnosed at just 37. The mother of two would live four years longer than what her doctors expected.

During her battle, Christiana would speak to groups about her diagnosis while encouraging people to get a colonoscopy. At the time, the recommended age was 50. Today, CDC guidelines now call for screenings to begin at 45.

Christina’s husband, Greg Gianoplus, is the co-founder of the Blue Ribbon Run. He has remarried but continues the mission to raise awareness to save lives.

There’s still time to sign up for the 5k. If you’re interested in running, click here.

There will be a reception at the Dockside Restaurant at Wrightsville Beach following the race.