For 34 years one race in Sioux Falls has stood out. Touching the lives of thousands. Bringing together those who have felt the effects of cancer. This is THE race.

The Avera Race Against Cancer is held annually on the first Saturday in May.

There are countless memories from race day, from the night before carb-fest, to the after-race parties. But one outstanding component of this event is how well it's organized. The number of volunteers it takes to put on a race this size is astonishing. And race officials can't say enough thank-yous.


For race participants, this is the one they look forward to all year long. Families who have been touched by different cancers dedicate Mother's Day weekend to the 5K, 10K, 3-mile walk, and 1.5-mile walk.

It becomes both a reunion and celebration.

Here is what you need to know on race day:

  • 6:00 am - Shuttle buses begin
  • 7:00 am - Avera Race Expo and Survivor Pavilion opens
  • 7:15 am - Survivor group photo
  • 7:40 am - Song tribute to all survivors
  • 7:45 am - Warm-up with Jackie
  • 8:00 am - Race begins
  • 10K race begins
  • Breakfast buffet opens
  • 8:15 am - 5K race begins
  • 8:20 am - 1.5 and 3 mile walks begin

Registration and packet pickup.

So now that you have this weekend covered, how about moving on to the rest of the race year with these events:

May 14, Remember the Fallen 5K - Hosted by the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1. To remember those Law Enforcement Officers who have lost their lives serving their communities, as well to say thank you to those who continue to protect our communities every day.

May 14, Brookings Half-Marathon - Run through the historic streets of Brookings, SD.

May 21, Pound the Mound Trail Races - Head to Blue Mound State Park just north of Luverne, MN. Participants can choose from 10, 20, or 30-mile distance options.

May 22, Safety in the Sun Run 5K - To raise awareness for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

June 4, One Ear Deer Dash Races - These 3.5 & 7.5-mile races will be held at Oak Grove Park in Sioux County, Iowa along the Big Sioux River.

June 4 & 5, Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon - Take in the beauty of the Black Hills.

June 12, Walk Run Race for Their Lives - Three separate races that include 5K Run for Their Lives, 1 Mile Family Walk, and 1 Mile Kid's Run.

June 12, Swan Lake Marathon - Proceeds from this marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay, and 5k will help support the Swan Lake Christian Camp near Viborg, South Dakota.

June 18, Family Service 5K & 1-Mile Walk - All the proceeds will go to continuing the Family Service mission and providing free reduced-fee therapy for all.

June 26, Dakotaman Triathlon - Swim 500 yards, bike 15 miles, and run 3.1 miles.

July 4, Lennox Firecracker Road Race - The Lennox 4th of July celebration includes 5K and 10K races.

July 9, Spearfish Canyon Half-Marathon & 5K - The Black Hills is one of the most beautiful settings for running this event.

July 16, Lennox Lapsley's Running for Healthy Hearts Half-Marathon - This inaugural event is a fundraiser and a memorial to honor Lennox Lapsley who in the first month of his life died from complications from a congenital heart defect.

August 27, Tuthill Park Trail Races - Beginning in upper Tuthill Park, the course is a 1.5-mile loop. 3-mile runners will complete two loops and 6 milers will run four loops.

August 28, Sioux Falls Marathon - This is the Big One. Four separate events to choose from including the full marathon, half-marathon, 10K, and 5K.

October 1, Health Connect's Human Race - 10 nonprofit organizations in the Sioux Falls Area will be the winners from proceeds of this 5K & 1-mile Fun Walk.

October 8, Newton Hills Trail Races - Another challenge from one of South Dakota's State Parks with a 2-mile and 6-mile race.

October 29, Trick or Treat Trail Run - Bring out your most creative costume for the 5K Run/Walk, 10K Run & 15K along the Big Sioux River starting at Pasley Park.

November 6, Christmas Tree Skirt Dash - "On Dasher!" What a sweet place to start from at Queen City bakery for the 3.1,2 and 1-mile dash races.

November 25, Jingle Bell Run - Run off your Thanksgiving feast with this fun, festive event that benefits the Arthritis Foundation.


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