Run for Wayne will happen March 27 in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 March 2021 at 10:29 am

Participants in colon cancer awareness event will be released in groups of 25 every 10 minutes

Photos by Tom Rivers: Runners take off at the start of the Run for Wayne on Clarendon Road in Albion on April 22, 2017. This year’s event is scheduled for March 27.

ALBION – Last year’s Run for Wayne in late March was cancelled at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year the race will go on, but in a way to spread out the runners and walkers on a 3.17-mile course that starts on Clarendon Road, goes along Route 31 to Mount Albion Cemetery and then comes back on 31 to the elementary school parking lot.

The race started in 2015 to honor the memory of Wayne Burlison, an Albion elementary music teacher who died at age 36 from colon cancer on March 26, 2014.  The “Run for Wayne” is now known as the Wayne Burlison Colon Cancer Awareness 5K, which highlights the second leading cancer death among men, but is often treatable if detected in the early stages.

This portrait of Wayne Burlison was displayed on a tree along the course in Mount Albion during the 2016 race.

The race is slighter longer than a typical 5K at 3.17 miles. Burlison lived 3 months and 17 days after he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Bert Gallmon, one of Burlison’s friends, is managing this year’s race. Gallmon is releasing the participants in groups of 25 every 10 minutes, with the first group starting at 1 p.m., then additional groups at 1:10, 1:20 and 1:30. Participants can also complete the distance virtually at another location.

The race usually has about 100 participants. Click here to sign up in one of the four different groups on March 27. Race-day signups should also be available, Gallmon said.

Proceeds from the race in the past have gone towards a scholarship in Burlison’s name and also towards a new running/walking trail at Bullard Park that hasn’t been built yet.

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.