Paint the town blue at NOLA Bluedoo 2016

Nurah Lambert, Staff Reporter

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Leave your expectations at the door when you attend NOLA Bluedoo 2016, a running event unlike any other, on Saturday. A two-mile “party/walk/run competitive race” hosted by the New Orleans Track Club, Bluedoo began in 2014 as a way to raise funds for Tulane’s Prostate Cancer Research Fund.

Over the past two years, Bluedoo has raised over $286,000 with 1,450 registered participants. This year it hopes to raise $200,000 with over 1,000 people registered.

Taking place on Tulane’s Uptown campus on the Gibson Quadrangle, Bluedoo will host a variety of festivities, including parties both before and after the race, a silent auction and musical entertainment guests including George Porter, Jr. and Brian Stoltz, as well as free food from local restaurants. There are also kid-friendly activities like face painting and crafts. “The Young and the Restless” actor and Tulane alumnus Christian Jules LeBlanc will be serving as the grand marshal.

Bluedoo participants are advised to dress in blue, the color for prostate cancer awareness. Every year, some participants sport blue wigs, blue crowns, blue tights and more. This year will be no different.

Along with raising funds for prostate cancer research, Bluedoo honors cancer survivors. One of the main attractions will be the NOLA Bluedoo Celebration of Survivorship Tent. The tent will feature a photo booth to capture the moment with fun props and a mural where survivors can add personalized messages describing “the reason they fight.” The tent will also serve as a place where survivors and their families can receive special prostate cancer awareness ties to wear throughout the event and hold onto as a keepsake.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and one in 39 men will die from prostate cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death among American men.

Oliver Sartor, oncologist and head of the Tulane Prostate Cancer Research Project, and his team currently lead the country in prostate cancer research and treatment, making Tulane Cancer Center an international destination for excellent cancer care. There are only a few medical oncologists in the world who specialize in prostate cancer, and Sartor happens to be one of them.

“[Sartor] has been involved in [Federal Drug Administration] approval of four of the six most-recently approved prostate cancer drugs,” Melanie Cross, Tulane Cancer Center’s manager of communications, said. “He brings recognition to New Orleans as an epicenter for cutting-edge research and treatment of prostate cancer. In short, Dr. Sartor has put Tulane on the map of medical excellence, and this translates into millions of dollars for our city.”

The race will begin at 5 p.m., the course starting on Gibson Quad. The route will snake around the Uptown campus until it eventually returns to the starting point. Although Bluedoo is a walk/run, walking and running aren’t required to participate in the party. The registration fee for walkers and runners, including members of the New Orleans Track Club, is $30 while students and youths have a discounted registration fee of $20 the day of the run. All proceeds go towards the Prostate Cancer Research Fund of the Tulane Cancer Center.