By Michael Ullery
April 1, 2014
PIQUA — Morning commuters in Piqua may have spotted runners sporting colorful tutus as they made their way to school or work on Tuesday morning.
The event, dubbed “Piqua runners, Rockin’ their tutus,” and organized by Sue Peltier and Kazy Hinds, was a two-mile running/walking event to show support for a fellow runner and cancer survivor.
A recent photo that ran in SELF magazine showed marathoner Monika Allen competing in a race while wearing a tutu. SELF captioned the image with, “A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC’s Central Park, and it’s all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster. Now, if you told us they made people run away from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”
What no one at SELF bothered to find out, was that Allen suffers from brain cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Allen makes the tutus through her company and money from sales benefits the non-profit organization, Girls On The Run.
Allen told a NBC affiliate that they wore the outfits because it was her first marathon since being diagnosed.
Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief for SELF quickly issued an apology to Allen for their insensitivity in the matter.
Several local runners, including Peltier and Hinds are involved with Girls On The Run and decided to organize Tuesday’s run/walk to show support, both for their organization and for Allen.
Peltier said that some good has come from the SELF’s tutu faux pas. “It’s raised a lot of awareness and a lot of donations have been made to Girls On The Run, so that’s a good thing,” said Peltier. “Also the good in empowering people to be who they are.”
Locally, Girls On The Run is raffling a 20-pound chocolate rabbit. Tickets are available at both Winan’s and Can’t Stop Running.
Kendra Berger, a San Diego native who is visiting Piqua and is on the Girls On The Run board of directors with Allen, participated in Tuesday’s event. Berger said, “Even before Monika discovered that she had incurable brain cancer, she really embodied a lot of the values Girls On The Runs tries fulfilling. Positivity, strength and being comfortable with who you are. Again, its an unfortunate thing that happened, (the magazine photo), but again we are turning it into something positive.”