Women's club participating in virtual 5K/10K for GYN cancer awareness

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The Head Over Teal 5K/10K, an event held each September during Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, is coming to Arley.

Sponsored by the Birmingham-based Laura Crandall Brown Foundation, Head Over Teal is typically held at The Preserve in Hoover. It is being held virtually this year to protect the health and safety of participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arley's Angels, a team made up of members of the Arley Women's Club, will be walking and running in the event on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Hamner Park.

The first runners/walkers are expected to arrive at 6:30 a.m. Others will arrive later in the morning. The 5K/10K should be completed around noon.

"It only takes about an hour to complete the 5K walking at a nice comfortable pace," said team captain Corky Wachtl. 

Some club members will be wearing angel wings that day — an alternative to the photo booth that is usually set up at The Preserve.

Thirteen team members are registered so far. Other participants can register online at www.thinkoflaura.org/headoverteal. 

"You can join a team or create a team. When you click on it, it comes up in alphabetical order, so Arley's Angels is very easy to find," Wachtl said.

The registration fee is $30. Those who want to support the cause but prefer to sleep in can also make a donation through the race website. 

Proceeds from the event help fund early detection research, GYN cancer awareness and financial support for patients and their families. 

Since the event is being held virtually, Head Over Teal has been scheduled for Sept. 18-26 with teams choosing the day they would like to participate. 

Participants are encouraged to document their race times, share photos of family support and connect with other participants via social media by using the hashtags #headoverteal and #headovertealgoesvirtual. 

This is the 11th year for Head Over Teal and the fifth or sixth year that the Arley Women's Club has had a team. 

Brown's mother, Cecilia Crandall, is a member of the Arley Women's Club. Brown died of ovarian cancer in 2009 at age 25.

Since the Foundation was formed in 2009, it has granted more than $500,000 for ovarian cancer early detection research. 

The Foundation also educates community members on GYN cancer prevention info, signs and symptoms, and provides emotional, educational and direct financial support to GYN cancer patients, survivors and co-survivors.

In addition to Head Over Teal, the Foundation is also spearheading the 8th annual A State of Teal Awareness Campaign.   

During the month of September, the campaign brings awareness to GYN cancers through advertising and events such as Head Over Teal. Teal lighting will be observed in many businesses and cities throughout the state.

“We are delighted to continue our awareness campaign in September,” said Ramona Graffeo, LCBF Executive Director. “With no early detection or screening for four of the five gynecologic cancers, spreading gynecologic cancer awareness information is vital to women of all ages and a cornerstone of what we do here at LCBF.”

Alabama is tied as the number one state for cervical cancer deaths in the U.S. and ranks 6th for ovarian cancer deaths.