Some 4,000 cancer fighters ran, walked and rode through the streets of South Florida Saturday, raising more than $4 million for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The seventh annual Dolphins Cancer Challenge, held Saturday, featured a slew of Miami sports personalities. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made the 13-mile ride from Davie to Hard Rock Stadium. NASCAR driver Scott Lagasse, who needed life-saving colon cancer surgery in 2015, was a proud participant.
And after the sweating was over, the music began. Recording artists Counting Crows played to a crowd of 5,000 gratefully shaded by the stadium’s canopy.
“It's very important,” said Hurricanes coach Mark Richt, who joined Dolphins coach Adam Gase on stage to thank everyone who played a part. “We all know cancer stinks. Everyone wants to fight cancer and win, and with events like this, people who care, we have a good chance of doing it.”
Odds and ends from the South Florida athletes who showed up to support the NFL’s largest fundraising event:
▪ Safety Reshad Jones, who missed the last 10 games of the season after a significant shoulder injury, said he’s made a full recovery and will be physically able to participate in the Dolphins’ offseason schedule.
“I feel great,” said Jones, who is entering the final year of his contract. “My shoulder's feeling good. I'll be ready to go this year.”
Jones was one of several key Dolphins who couldn’t suit up for Miami’s first playoff game since 2008.
“We made the playoffs,” Jones said. “Next step is make the conference championship and Super Bowl. We just have to keep it going. I think we got the ball rolling and keep it going in the right direction.”
▪ Dolphins offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod would “absolutely” return for an 11th NFL season if he gets the right offer.
“I feel good,” Bushrod said. “I'm 32 years old. I just finished my 10th year. I feel good. Hopefully we can work things out. Like I told you after the last game, I'm not in a rush. We'll see how it works out.”
Bushrod is a free agent.
▪ UM running back Mark Walton, who rushed for 1,117 yards as a sophomore, expects to take another leap forward in Year 3.
“We're just trying to get everybody to buy in,” Walton said. “Every day we work hard, push each other. I'm just excited about this year coming up.”
Walton added: “I'm just trying become more of a vocal leader this year. Make more statements for the team, make the team revolve around me and help young guys, bring them up and encourage them.”