Run for Wayne on Saturday kicks off 5K season in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 April 2022 at 1:26 pm

Walk/Run in Albion is colon cancer awareness event

Photo by Tom Rivers: This portrait of Wayne Burlison was displayed on a tree along the course at Mount Albion Cemetery during the 2016 race.

ALBION – The Run for Wayne, in memory of Albion music teacher Wayne Burlison, returns on Saturday.

The event is also the Wayne Burlison Colon Cancer Awareness 5K. It starts at 10 a.m. on Clarendon Road near the Albion Elementary School parking lot and heads east along Route 31. The course then goes through Mount Albion cemetery with the walkers/runners then coming back on 31 to the elementary school parking lot.

So far 75 have preregistered for the event. The online registration ends at 5 p.m. today. People can sign up the day of the event beginning at 9 a.m. at the parking lot of the school.

Every participant will receive a custom winter beanie hat with the logo of the Wayne Burlison Colon Cancer Awareness 5K.

The 2020 race was cancelled and last year runners were released in pods of 25 every 10 minutes. The event on Saturday will be the return of a mass start.

The course is slightly longer than a 5K with the distance at 3.17 miles instead of 3.1. The 3.17 signifies 3 months and 17 days. That’s how long Burlison lived after being diagnosed with colon cancer. He passed away at age 36 from colon cancer on March 26, 2014.

Colon cancer is the second leading cancer death among men, but is often treatable if detected in the early stages.

Bert Gallmon, one of Burlison’s friends, is managing the race.

“I want to make sure his spirit lives on because of what he did for the community and for those who knew him,” Gallmon said today.

Burlison was active in several musical groups in the community and also helped start the Albion Running Club. He lost more than 150 pounds through better nutrition and exercise and completed a marathon and half-marathons.

He and his wife Lisa have a son, Adam.

Proceeds from the race support a scholarship in Burlison’s name. Some of the proceeds from the race also have supported a new walking trail at Bullard Park.

There will be a post-race celebration under the overhangs in the parking lot with chili and bagels.