First ‘Paint the Town Pink’ to color Mattoon

Molly Dotson, Staff Reporter

Runners are preparing for four blasts of pink during the first Paint the Town Pink 5K Color Run/Walk Saturday in Mattoon.

The run is sponsored by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and Mattoon Area Family YMCA.

The run is slated to begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Mattoon Bus Depot.

Laura Bullan, director of healthy communities at SBLHC and one of the coordinators of the 5K, said she hopes the event will raise breast cancer awareness, support those affected by it and honor women diagnosed with the disease.

“Knowing you are not alone helps in the healing process, and it gives people hope,” Bullan said.

Bullan also said all the proceeds from the 5K are going to the new Regional Cancer Center at SBLHC.

Marlana Brant, one of the participants, said she is running with her sister to honor the multiple women in their life who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It really hits close to home,” Brant said. “It was a sign from God to represent these people, and show my faith that they can get through it.”

Brant has never previously run in an organized event, but she said she feels like it was meant to be.

Brant said her goal is to not only complete the run in 25 minutes or less, but also to make others aware of the prevalence of breast cancer.

“I want to raise awareness that cancer is everywhere,” Brant said. “I want to represent the ones I love who have been diagnosed with breast cancer”

After the run there will be a dance party with music set to the theme of “Women’s Empowerment.”

Bullan said the music was chosen specifically to underline the main point of the event, which is breast cancer awareness.

Participants and supporters had the opportunity to create pink tutus they could wear during the run.

Classes were held for participants to make the tutus for $10 at one of the “Make and Take” events hosted by SBLHC on Sept. 21, 29 and Oct. 6.

Approximately 20 people attended each of these events. However, Bullan said she thinks many are crafting their fashion statements independently.

Online registration at is available through 4 p.m. on Friday, but SBLHC will also offer registration on the day of the event. The registration fee is $20.

Bullan said 425 people are currently registered, but they are expecting over 500 participants for the 5K.

Runners will start at the Mattoon Bus Depot, run down 21st Street, down Western Avenue, around Lytle Park, down 34th Street, up Prairie Avenue, down 21st Street, down Richmond Avenue and up 16th Street, ending at the Mattoon YMCA building.

Bullan said finishing times for the run are not the important part of the day, but honoring the people who have been diagnosed is.

“It’s not just a race, it’s something meaningful,” Bullan said.


Molly Dotson can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]