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FAST focuses on prostate cancer
PACE Race is Saturday in Cumming
Members of Forsyth Area Striders Team practice for the FAST PACE Race, which is Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds. - photo by Jennifer Sami

* To register for the race, go online at or visit Totally Running at 405 Peachtree Pkwy., across from The Avenue Forsyth.

* More information about the Forsyth Area Striders Team can be found at
The FAST PACE Race is set for Oct. 24 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

Sponsored by Georgia Urology, the event features a 5K and 10K and aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer, the second most common form of cancer in American men.

The Forsyth Area Striders Team, or FAST, decided to join forces with the Prostate Conditions Education Council and sanofi-aventis pharmaceutical company for the event.

The council organized the PACE, or Prostate Awareness and Cancer Education, race series in 2002.

Founded in 2006, FAST is a nonprofit organization that promotes fitness for people of all ages and levels.

“So many men and their families have been affected by prostate cancer, we knew this was such a great cause to raise awareness for this potentially deadly disease,” said Devin Forsyth, a longtime county resident and founding member of FAST.

“We knew early on that this could be the biggest race [the county] has ever had.”

Forsyth said the race is drawing runners from across Georgia. The 10K course is a USATF-certified Peachtree Road Race qualifier.

In fact, the 2009 spokeswoman for the race is Gayle Barron, a five-time winner of the Peachtree. She will lead the awards presentation, as well as field questions and offer tips.

In addition to the race, the event will feature free prostate screenings for all men, regardless of whether they take part in the race.

“In a way, it will be like a mini-health fair,” Forsyth said. “There will be doctors there to answer questions and to help raise awareness for the importance of screening for early detection.”

Statistics show one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. But with early detection, many can get treatment and go on to live healthy, full lives.

The idea of a local PACE race started coming together about nine months ago, when Forsyth saw an article in a popular runners magazine.

“It was written by legendary runner Bill Rodgers, all about his struggle with prostate cancer and how he came back after more than a decade-long retirement to run in the Boston Marathon,” he said.

“I decided to call him and when I did, he told me about this national organization and we talked about bringing it here to Forsyth County.”

After the two put together the proposal, they began getting positive feedback on the PACE race.

Forsyth knew FAST would be excited about bringing the race to Cumming.

Besides being a point to point race, Forsyth took pains to ensure the course at the fairgrounds, which has amenities, will help runners get a fast time.

“In the state of Georgia, it is difficult to find courses where you can get a fast time due to the hills,” he said. “We worked hard to map out these courses.”

The race begins at 8 a.m. Men’s and women’s T-shirts are available.