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Last modified: Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Inaugural IU Circle of Life Mini Marathon coming up on Sept. 9

Student-led effort will create scholarships for cancer survivors

Aug. 30, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Final arrangements are being made for the first Circle of Life IU Mini Marathon presented by Old National Bank. In addition to the inaugural running events on Saturday, Sept. 9, other activities that weekend offer additional opportunities to join in the student effort to raise money for a scholarship for cancer survivors.

IU Circle of Life, a student organization, is coordinating weekend activities that will include a pre-race pasta party, an expo and packet pick-up, the mini marathon, a 5K-run, a 1-mile fun run, the Greek Challenge, an awards ceremony, an alumni party and a post-race concert.

The purpose of the mini marathon and related events is to establish the Bill Z. Littlefield Scholarship for Survivors. The scholarship -- named for a Kelley School of Business faculty member who died last year from cancer -- will be awarded to a cancer survivor to attend one of IU's eight campuses.

"We are working tirelessly to bring the local community and university student body together," said Kevin R. MacCauley, a senior from Evansville in the Kelley School, and president and chief executive officer of Circle of Life. "Plato once said, 'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' In the essence of kindliness, our hope is that the community will join us in offering a cancer survivor the opportunity to attend the academically renowned Indiana University."

Myles Grote, Circle of Life's chief operating officer and a senior from Indianapolis in the Kelley School, added, "Our hope is that citizens in Bloomington and the entire Midwest region will respond to this cause with optimism, belief and excitement. The support we are already seeing is a sign of the great potential and opportunity this event can bring to our community."

The weekend's events will have great meaning not only for Littlefield's family, but also for Adam Kessler, a Circle of Life vice president and student from West Bloomfield, Mich., also from the Kelley School, and the family of his high school friend, Justin Rochkind. Justin died of cancer in July 2004 at age 18. Kessler and Rochkind's relationship was the subject of a July 24 article in the Wall Street Journal (a link to the article is included with this release). Lynne Roman, Justin's mother, and Kessler will speak to runners before the race.

The weekend's activities will begin with a pasta party on Friday, Sept. 8, from 4-8 p.m., at the DeVault Alumni Center, 1000 East 17th St. The pasta dinner, presented by Bucceto's Smiling Teeth, is open to the public and will include a beverage, salad, breadsticks and Bucceto's Quatro Formaggio spaghetti. The cost will be $5.

The mini marathon will begin at 8:05 a.m., Sept . 9, at IU Memorial Stadium. People are encouraged to cheer on the runners along the race course and at the finish line, also at Memorial Stadium.

The 13.1-mile inaugural run will be the largest running event in southern Indiana and the state's first collegiate-hosted mini marathon. Runners will compete on a road route taking them through the IU Bloomington campus. The route has been officially certified and sanctioned by the USA Track and Field Association.

So far more than 2,000 runners from 25 states have signed up to compete in the mini marathon. Competitors are coming from California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. In addition, there have been registrants from more than 115 cities and towns in Indiana as well as from Canada. Organizers expect that at least 3,000 people will participate in the running event.

Any records set on the course will be official and participants can use their race times to qualify for other races. According to Joel Sauer, the course certifier, certification provides peace of mind to runners who want to know exactly how fast and far they have run.

"It's a unique course because it's almost entirely based on a college campus, and IU is a beautiful campus," Sauer said. "In the fall it's going to be a really nice course."

Registration is still being accepted both online and by mail-in entry. Go to for more information. The registration cost for the mini marathon is $25 before Sept. 9 and $30 on race day. There is a $5 discount for students. The cost for the 5K-run/walk and the 1-mile run/walk (for ages 7 and up) is $15 before Sept. 9 and $18 on race day.

Following Saturday morning's running events, Circle of Life will host an IU alumni party, from 4-8 p.m., at Nick's English Hut, 423 E. Kirkwood Ave. A post-race concert, "Circ-a-Palooza," at Jake's Night Club, 419 N. Walnut St., also is scheduled for 8 p.m. Performers at the concert will include Matt Wertz, Christopher Jak, Griffey Rhodes and JCM.

Built into the mini marathon is a Greek Challenge. Designed on a point system, fraternities and sororities are paired based on their campus locations. The paired houses will compete in four areas -- house fundraising, race-day participation, race-day "house spirit" and the fastest team time in the mini marathon. IU Dean of Students Dick McKaig and campus leaders will travel the race course in a bright yellow Hummer to evaluate the Greek houses.

Circle of Life partnered with the IU Cancer Center to establish the scholarship. Monies raised from participation fees, donations and other sales all will benefit the Bill Z. Littlefield Scholarship for Survivors.

"The Indiana University Cancer Center is grateful to the Circle of Life organization for being dedicated to giving a cancer patient an opportunity to access an excellent undergraduate education at Indiana University," said IU Cancer Center Director Dr. Stephen Williams. "We are proud to partner with them in working toward this noble cause."

The Littlefield Scholarship, housed at the IU Foundation, will serve as the sustaining backbone for the scholarship in years to come. Unlike most scholarships for cancer survivors that come in relatively small denominations, the Circle of Life scholarship will be one of the largest in the nation once all financial goals are met.

Contributions can be sent to the IU Foundation at P.O. Box 500, Bloomington, Ind., 47402; made by phone at 812-855-5776; or made online at (specify the name of the account: Circle of Life/Bill Littlefield Scholarship).

Sponsors and supporters of the inaugural event include: Old National Bank, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Vectren, Baxter, Bucceto's Smiling Teeth, Chick-Fil-A, CVS Pharmacy, Dr. Little Chiropractic, Iron Pit Gym, IU Bookstore, Oakley, Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, Bloomington Shuttle, Brightroom Photography, Campus Favors, Cheeseburger In Paradise, Coca Cola, D.P. Dough and B97.

For more information and/or questions please contact Indiana University Circle of Life by emailing