BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The Maryland Half Marathon is one of the fastest growing races in the state. It raises hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for cancer research.

As part of our continuing community commitment, Gigi Barnett takes a look at how organizers plan to get even more runners across the finish line next year.

In three fast years, the Maryland Half Marathon has zoomed past other races across the state.

It’s a major fundraiser for the university of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Thursday organizers unveiled the plan to do it again bigger and better.

“This is the Maryland Half Marathon. We want to be for the entire state of Maryland,” said Jon Sevel, Maryland Half Marathon co founder.

Back again next year is Dozer, the three-year old Golden Doodle who decided to get in the race when he saw hundreds of runners go past his house.

“He jumped in our race unannounced at mile 5 and completed it by himself,” Sevel said.

Dozer has a Facebook page that raised more than $25, 0000 last year and is on track to do that again next year.

“I was on there just checking around, and he’s already raised almost $700 and the race is still five months away,” Sevel said.

Over the last few years, the race has raised more than $750,000 for the cancer center, but next year’s race will hit a milestone at the million dollar mark.

“The funds that we raise from the Maryland Half Marathon permit us to do research that we wouldn’t be able to do for years if we relied on federal funding,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, Greenebaum Cancer Center director.

Next year, the race also returns to Howard County and to a very hilly course. Organizers say it’s a simple reminder that fighting cancer isn’t easy.

“When you are facing a tough climb, think about what these people have to go through and the struggles that they have to overcome in their dealing with cancer,” Dr. Cullen said.

In honor of Dozer, organizers created a race within the race, called Dozer’s Dash. It starts at the 5 mile mark. The Maryland Half Marathon is Sunday, May 6.


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