On Sunday, Nov. 5, Project Purple’s 2023 TCS NYC Marathon turned the streets of New York purple, running 26.2 miles and raising over $500,000 for pancreatic cancer research and patient financial aid. Project Purple is thankful to all our runners who participated in this race. You made it one of our most successful races yet!
Project Purple Loves NYC!
This year, Project Purple brought 76 runners to the marathon. This group, along with their families, represented the Project Purple mission on the course, showing support for each other and for all those affected by pancreatic cancer.
Project Purple kicked off our NYC Marathon weekend with a shakeout run on Saturday morning to get everyone ready for race day. The team met at Engineer’s Gate in Central Park for this optional morning run and followed the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Running Track. It was incredible to get to run with some members of our team and also get a beautiful view of the Reservoir and surrounding NYC cityscape.
We also hosted a meet and greet on Saturday evening at the Monarch Rooftop Lounge on West 35th Street, which not only has an incredible atmosphere in its own right but also boasts a spectacular view of the Empire State Building. This event gave the runners a chance to talk with Project Purple staff as well as other runners, creating that community spirit Project Purple is known for.
“I love the community that Project Purple has built. Everyone is so positive and it’s a great thing to [feel] supported,” said Liz Allen, one of the members of the Project Purple run team.
On Sunday, our runners lined up at the start of the beautiful 26.2-mile course. The NYC Marathon course offers some of the best crowds of any race in the world while also giving runners a chance to experience the vibrant culture of each borough.
Every runner has their own unique story for why they run. Lauren Dobbs, one of the Project Purple runners, ran in memory of her father.
“My dad passed away in April,” said Dobbs, “he was really really tough, never gave up on anything. He had sort of this insane amount of grit, so I think remembering him and his spirit help[ed] me during the race.”
One of the best parts of the race for our runners is the enthusiasm of our team on the sidelines, with two official cheer zones: one in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. Each year, we make it a party, decking everything and everyone out in purple to show our support for the pancreatic cancer community.
“The crowds are unbelievable, which is probably why I keep doing this race, the crowds are just amazing,” said Marisa Taitague. “Knowing where [Project Purple] is going to be, you look forward to seeing them, so it really does motivate you. And, they are super loud, so much energy, it really does pump you up.”
On Sunday night, Project Purple hosted our annual post-run afterparty at Tanner Smith’s on West 55th Street. The event included speeches from Dino Verrelli, founder and CEO of Project Purple, and Mikaela Ricks, founder of For All Who Fight. This organization was founded by three women who all had a connection to cancer, and who wanted to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Their charity works to support all cancer patients through hosting events with the goal of raising awareness and supporting cancer research efforts.
It was a perfect time for runners to celebrate their accomplishments with their families and fellow runners.
The weekend was a true celebration of the perseverance of our Project Purple runners, who all ran in the name of a world without pancreatic cancer.
“As long as pancreatic cancer still exists, I will be running with Project Purple,” said Taitague.
Running the Extra Mile
Overall, this year’s NYC Marathon was bigger and better than ever for Project Purple, thanks to the amazing work of our runners and their supporters. This year’s team raised over $500,000 for pancreatic cancer patients. This money will not only go towards funding research efforts, but will also directly support families who are going through a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
“I think it’s really amazing what Project Purple has done just in terms of increasing awareness about what pancreatic cancer is and how important it is to find effective treatments and early identification and support for families,” said Dobbs. “It just has brought me a lot of peace in terms of my grieving for my dad.”
The NYC Marathon marks the end of the marathon season for this calendar year, and we couldn’t be prouder of all the work our runners have put in throughout these past twelve months. If you’re looking to join one of our run teams in 2024, visit projectpurple.org/events!