All proceeds benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Chairman John Simmons presents a $25,000 check to Mary Hesdorffer, the executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation during the Alton Miles for Meso race on Sat. 22. Since the Alton race started in 2009, it has donated $100,000 to the Meso Foundation, which funds peer-reviewed research grants for mesothelioma.

The Jesse White Tumbling Team gave a special 15-minute performance during the 4th Annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K race. Illinois Secretary of State and Alton native, Jesse White, pictured in the white pants, founded the non-profit group in 1959, to help inner city Chicago kids. Here the gymnasts are using a small trampoline to jump over their teammates in addition to three volunteers from the crowd.

Runners in the Age Group 5K Race begin the 5K course that winds along the brick streets and hills of historic, downtown Alton. More than 700 people registered to participate in the event's activities, which also included children's activities, vendor booths, a live band and food tent.

Julie Gundlach, a mesothelioma survivor and St. Louis native, recognizes Courtney Davis (right), the daughter of Larry Davis who passed away of mesothelioma this summer. Larry was the founder of the South Florida Miles for Meso 8K race in Boca Raton, Florida. Gundlach led a moment of silence during the Alton race in honor of Larry, who is one of 10,000 Americans who will die of mesothelioma this year.

ALTON, Ill., Sept. 25, 2012 -The 4th Annual Miles for Meso, a 5K race and walk presented by the Simmons Law Firm, has raised $25,000 to support research for mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Since the Alton, Ill., race started in 2009, it has raised nearly $100,000 for mesothelioma research.

More than 700 people participated in the event, including patients and families affected by the disease. "This year's Miles for Meso was a resounding success," said Gregg Kirkland, Simmons Firm CEO. "Thanks to the support of everyone who attended, our volunteers and our sponsors, this event continues to help raise awareness about the horrible disease of mesothelioma."

All proceeds benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a national charity focused on mesothelioma research and patient support. Since the Foundation started in 2000, the Simmons Firm has been its top cumulative donor.

The money was raised through a combination of registrations fees, personal donations and sponsorships, including the event's Gold Sponsors: Fathom Online Marketing, First Clover Leaf Bank, and Jenner & Block.

"This was the first year we separated the 5K Race and the Elite Race," said Race Director Mike Wever. "A lot of people said they enjoyed the chance to watch the elite runners compete. It's not something you see every day."

In addition to the race, spectators enjoyed a performance by the Jesse White Tumbling Team, children's activities, and a live band. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White addressed the crowd before taking part in the tumbling performance.

Professional runners from around the world competed in the Elite event. The draw was the largest fall 5K purse in the Midwest with more than $6,200 up for grabs. First through fifth finishers in the Elite 5K men's and women's divisions were awarded cash prizes of $1,500, $750, $500, $250, and $100.

Hirut Mandefro, of Ethiopia, claimed first place with a time of 16:08. She set a new course record, surpassing the previous record of 16:16 set by Stephanie Pezzullo in 2011 by eight seconds. Mandefro received an additional $500 bonus for setting a new course record.

"The Elite women runners were considerably faster this year," said Wever. "Not only was a new course record set for the women, but all top five runners scored faster times than the top five runners from 2011."

Chemtai Rionotukei, of Kenya, took second with 16:14, also surpassing the old course record. Marion Kandie, of Kenya, placed third with 16:35; Lydia Kosgei, of Kenya, took fourth at 16:36; and Rebeka Stowe, of the United States, placed fifth with 16:42.

In the men's divisions, Julius Bor, from the United States, finished first with a time of 13:59; George Towett, of Kenya, took second at 14:01; Marofit Mourad, of Morocco, finished third with 14:04; Christian Hesch, of the United States, finished fourth with 14:07; and Elkanah Kibet, of Kenya, finished fifth with a time of 14:10.

For complete race results, visit the Miles for Meso race results page at http://www.milesformesothelioma.org/race_results/.

About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC:
The Simmons Firm is a national leader in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. Headquartered in Alton, Ill., with offices in Illinois, Missouri and California, the firm has represented thousands of patients and families affected by mesothelioma throughout the country. The Simmons Firm has pledged nearly $20 million to cancer research http://www.simmonsfirm.com/practices-cancer-institute.html and proudly supports mesothelioma research http://www.simmonsmesotheliomafoundation.org throughout the country. For more information about the Simmons Firm, visit http://www.simmonsfirm.com.

 

Photo Captions

MFMBB92212_7: Julie Gundlach, a mesothelioma survivor and St. Louis native, recognizes Courtney Davis (right), the daughter of Larry Davis who passed away of mesothelioma this summer. Larry was the founder of the South Florida Miles for Meso 8K race in Boca Raton, Florida. Gundlach led a moment of silence during the Alton race in honor of Larry, who is one of 10,000 Americans who will die of mesothelioma this year.

MFMBB92212_107: Runners in the Age Group 5K Race begin the 5K course that winds along the brick streets and hills of historic, downtown Alton. More than 700 people registered to participate in the event's activities, which also included children's activities, vendor booths, a live band and food tent.

MFMBB92212_166: The Jesse White Tumbling Team gave a special 15-minute performance during the 4th Annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K race. Illinois Secretary of State and Alton native, Jesse White, pictured in the white pants, founded the non-profit group in 1959, to help inner city Chicago kids. Here the gymnasts are using a small trampoline to jump over their teammates in addition to three volunteers from the crowd.

MFMBB92212_200: Chairman John Simmons presents a $25,000 check to Mary Hesdorffer, the executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation during the Alton Miles for Meso race on Sat. 22. Since the Alton race started in 2009, it has donated $100,000 to the Meso Foundation, which funds peer-reviewed research grants for mesothelioma.

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