Runners at the line.There are tons of road racing events this time of year, but this one is a little different.

Organizers of the Undy 5000 5k at 8:30 a.m. October 29 at Winfrey Point encourage participants to run in their underwear — most choose some modest form of boxer short or pajama bottom — in an effort to raise awareness about colon cancer.

Lake Highlands resident Lana Marker, chairperson for the Dallas race, got involved when her then 40-year-old husband was diagnosed with colon cancer.

“He went in for his first surgery 4 days after our son Michael’s second birthday. The recovery was very long and hard, both on him and us. He is a small-business owner (Event Technology Services), and a wonderful father and husband.  He is known in our neighborhood, Merriman Park Estates, as the A/V go-to guy.  He had is last colonoscopy this month and is cancer free.”

Marker says a strong support system was essential to getting through the ordeal, and she wants to get involved in the effort to “start the conversation” about colon cancer and prevention.

She met the chairperson of the local Colon Cancer Alliance, Dick Ryder, and he told her about the Undy fundraiser. His daughter had directed the race until she died at age 28 of cancer.

“The Undy 5000 encourages discussion among participants and throughout the community by providing custom designed boxers instead of traditional t-shirts,” she says. “Participants are invited to run in their boxers and underwear to bring attention to that area – the one affected by colon cancer.”

Register online for $30 now until Oct. 27 (you can also register before the race, but it will cost you $10 more).