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Richards in the pink at run event

Gary Richards, left, with his mom Nancy Richards, get ready to run in a 10K race for the cure.Wanting to get into shape, Gary Richards found himself in the pink of condition after he entered a race with his mom.

His mom, Nancy Richards of Madras, took up running five years ago. “There’s a race series at the Madras Aquatic Center, and two years ago I started doing that 10K with her, just to do something with my mom,” Gary Richards said, adding, “But I was never in shape, I just ran.”

Wanting to get in shape, Richards started dieting and running regularly last August, then decided he’d like to try a half-marathon.

For the past couple of years, his mom and sister Katie, of Hillsboro, had been entering the Girlfriends Half Marathon in Vancouver, Wash., which raises funds for the Susan G. Komen cancer research effort, and the Kearney Breast Center in Vancouver.

“My sister couldn’t do it this year because she hurt her foot, so my mom said why not take her place?” he said.

It sounded good until she added, `By the way, it’s a girls-only event, so you can only enter if you raise money and wear a pink tutu,’” Richards laughed.

To his surprise, friends and family members chipped in, raising $1,000 for him to enter, while his sister sewed him a pink tutu.

“I’d been told the event was limited to 50 men, but the day of the race, there were only five of us,” he said of the tutu-clad guys dubbed the “Pink Brigade.”

“We were introduced and they called us up on stage one at a time, to embarrass us,” he added.

Nancy Richards, said the attraction of the 13.1 mile Girlfriends Half Marathon is, “It’s a good purpose, there’s a lot of enthusiasm, and it’s not real competitive, but friendly. And it’s a beautiful course.”

On Oct. 13, a pink river of 1,358 runners flowed through the city raising $20,000 for Susan G. Komen for a Cure, while the men’s Pink Brigade raised an additional $11,000 for the Kearney Breast Center, and a Kids Mini Marathon raised $5,000 for a children’s center in Vancouver.

While they weren’t running on behalf of anyone, Gary Richards said, “I entered the race to do something with my mom, and in the process, raised some money for a good cause.”



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