Final Four attendees brave cold temps to run 4Kay, support late coach’s cancer fund

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Photos © Lee Michaelson, All rights reserved.

INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of coaches, players, fans and family members braved sub-freezing temperatures early Saturday morning to take part in the ninth annual 4Kay Run to kick off the 2016 Women’s Final Four. Though called the “4Kay,” the event is actually a 5K (five kilometers or 3.1 miles), and participants can decide whether to walk or run the distance.

Participants paid registration fees of $30-35 to take part in the annual event, named in honor of late North Carolina State University and U.S. Olympic Team women’s basketball coach Kay Yow. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, and passed away on January 24, 2009 after succumbing to her third bout of the disease.

Before her death, Yow joined forces with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the V Foundation for Cancer Research to establish the Kay Yow Cancer Fund®. Proceeds from the annual 4Kay Run at the Final Four benefits that fund, which raises funds for cancer research and to help the underserved.

The race through downtown Indianapolis started and ended outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where the Final Four, as well as the national championship games for Divisions II and III women’s basketball, will take place this weekend. Pep bands, cheerleaders and mascots from participating schools sent the runners on their way and greeted them at the finish line on their return. Though the race got underway at 8 a.m. ET, many runners and their supporters were on site as early as 6:30 a.m. to register on site, stow their gear or jockey for the best starting positions.

The top three male and female finishers received Fitbits, and all participants received t-shirts, along with their registration numbers, which featured a place for the runner to write in the names of those for whom they were running.

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