Fifty-six runners and a handful of walkers took part Saturday to help raise awareness in the fifth annual Prostate Cancer Run at Mendenhall River School.
Shawn Miller, Dave Pusich and Ken Maas placed 1-2-3 in the 5-K race but it was Mike Miller, the one who stood idle, who was most impressive.
Miller, a former Juneau swim coach who four-and-a-half years ago was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and given 18-36 months to live, watched the runners as they lined up at the starting line on a sunny but cold morning.
"There is so much to be grateful for, so much to be in awe about," Miller said. "Go out and have fun today."
Miller's journey has been something less than fun, but he's nonetheless fought avidly to make men aware of prostate cancer.
Through his efforts Miller has seen new legislation passed that drops the minimum screening age for at-risk men from 40 to 35. Also, the minimum screening age for the general population has been dropped from 50 to 40.
Miller is quick to point out that he isn't alone in this battle. Gov. Tony Knowles, Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Bill Hudson, Rep. Beth Kerttula, and dozens of Juneau citizens, including race directors John and PeggyAnn McConnochie, are equally important players.
The news needs to be spread by as many people as possible, Miller said.
"Right now, one in 53 men is diagnosed," Miller said. "Top urologists say by 2008 that number will drop to one in 30 or 40."
Miller said he's doing very well. He recently posted his lowest PSA score ever -- an indicator of prostate cancer -- a minuscule 0.03 reading.
Shawn Miller, no relation, was feeling pretty good, too.
He clocked a 16-minute, 23-second time to win the race on Saturday.
"It was a good race," Miller said. "With people like Dave Pusich behind you, it's never easy."
Miller edged second-place Pusich by 12 seconds. Paul Pusich, Dave's brother, was the only person to beat Miller in a road race this year in Juneau.
"I wouldn't even call that a loss, not with Paul Pusich out there," Miller said.
Miller said he feels good about returning to Western Washington University's cross country team in a couple of weeks. Though he never received a solid summer training schedule from the school, he believes that running against Juneau's talent afforded him some excellent experience.
"Shawn killed me," Dave Pusich said, looking over toward Miller. "You doing speed training?" he asked.
Pusich said it was so cold on Saturday morning -- temps hovered in the low 40s -- that it was hard to warm up.
Also, Pusich chuckled, it's hard dealing with the likes of Glenn Frick, who Pusich said was supposed to be at the turnaround telling people where to begin heading back. As he neared the area, though, Frick was nowhere to be found.
"All of a sudden he jumps out of the woods like a bear and says, 'Turn around here!'" Pusich laughed.
"No excuses, though," he said. "It's good to see everybody out here supporting this race, making everyone aware of the disease."
Ninth-place finisher Andy Grossman concurred.
"I had a disastrous race, but today the race doesn't matter," Grossman said. "It's not how good you do today."
Grossman said he recently discovered a friend in Portland, Ore., was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The friend found out immediately after going through quintuple bypass surgery.
"He said getting through that (the prostate cancer) was much more difficult," Grossman related. "But you have to put it behind you and look ahead."
A Men's Health Forum will be held Sept. 12 at Centennial Hall at either 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. Dr. Mark McCaughan will talk about prostate cancer screening and men can sign up to get a free PSA through Bartlett Memorial Hospital.
2000 Prostate Cancer Run
Results of the Prostate Cancer Run held Saturday at Mendenhall River School, broken down by age groups.
1. Justin Jones, 25 minutes, 8 seconds; 2. Andy Lawson, 28:38;
1. Nick Yankee, 21:54; 2. Katrina Hatch, 34:59
1. Shawn Miller (overall winner), 16:23; 2. Juan Macfarlane, 18:38; 3. Ron Dagei, 20:25; 4. Jerry Young, 23:46;
1. Dave Pusich, 16:35; 2. Don Eagle, 18:01; 3. Andy West, 20:30; 4. Daniel Hasenfang, 24:57; 5. Scott Petsel, 28:30;
1. Robert Hopson, 19:20; 2. Jim Ustasiewski, 19:30; 3. Dirk Miller, 19:47; 4. Lach Zemp, 20:17; 5. Dave Ringle, 21:11; 6. Eric Craver, 21:18; 7. Mathew Jones, 22:40; 8. Kenneth Hoff, 26:59; 9. David Clougherty, 29:22;
1. Ken Maas, 17:43; 2. Brian Goettler, 18:38; 3. Neil Slotnick, 20:01; 4. Keith Marshall, 20:32; 5. Peter Bittenbender, 22:27; 6. Ron Tang, 22:54; 7. Daniel Thompson, 23:15; 8. Peter Mores, 23:59; 9. Bruce Hahnlen, 29:23;
1. Bill Olmstead, 20:08; 2. Robert Kuhn, 20:27; 3. Bill Crompton, 21:01; 4. Doug Weaver, 21:37; 5. Kim Titus, 22:03; 6. Clayton Hawkes, 22:24; 7. Tom Lawson, 23:54; 8. Jim Powell, 24:37; 9. Craig Mapes, 25:20; 10. Carl Ohles, 28:49; 11. Laird Jones, 31:21; 12. Richard Campbell, 33:48;
1. Ben Haight, 19:08; 2. Andy Grossman, 19:34; 3. Mike McKrill, 20:17; 4. Reed Stoops, 21:27; 5. Pat Gullefson, 21:33; 6. Don Baird, 21:55; 7. Dennis Jones, 22:01; 8. Steve Porter, 22:29; 9. Michael Byer, 22:41; 10. Steve Shows, 23:39; 11. Michael Fleischauer, 25:46;
1. Richard Dean, 24:36; 2. Wes Coyner, 25:27.
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