NEW YORK, June 9, 2011 – When thousands of avid runners, passionate baseball fans, cancer survivors, and supporters from across the country gather at the Damon Runyon 5K starting line on August 7 to support the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, they will get the signal to run from New York Yankees great Roy White, one of the race’s official starters.

Last Year's Damon Runyon 5-K

The only charitable run/walk that uses the legendary ballpark as its course, the third annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium will take place on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Participants will run or walk the Stadium’s concourses, climb stairs between levels, appear on the video board, and follow in the footsteps of their favorite players by taking their own victory laps on the warning track that circles the field.  The event is on track to reach a three-year total of $1 million raised to fund groundbreaking cancer research by the nation’s most innovative young scientists.

White spent his entire 15 year career with the Yankees.  As starting left fielder, he helped them to an American League pennant in 1976 and two World Series Championships in 1977 and 1978.  He still ranks in the Yankees top ten in several categories, including games played, hits, at bats, stolen bases and walks.  For his career, he batted .271 with 1803 hits, 160 homers and 233 stolen bases.

In addition to serving as an official starter for the race, White will be featured at a private reception for the Runyon 5K’s leading early fundraisers on June 21 at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant in New York City. He will tell stories about his days with the Yankees, participate in a Q&A, sign autographs, be available for photos and watch the Yankees play the Cincinnati Reds in an interleague showdown.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the 1976 Yankees team that won their first American League pennant in 12 seasons before being swept by the Cincinnati Reds.  The year was important in Yankees history as it marked their first pennant under late owner George Steinbrenner, who promised a swift return to the World Series when he bought the team in 1973.

The Foundation, established in 1946 and based in New York City, has a long history with the Yankees.  Joe DiMaggio was on its Board of Directors.  Damon Runyon himself was a New York writer who began his career as a baseball journalist, revolutionizing how the game was reported and often covering Yankees games.

Last year’s event raised more than $400,000 and drew a capacity crowd of 4,000 participants from 29 states.  Click to see videos and photos of the 2010 Runyon 5K.  In addition to the New York Yankees’ support, other event sponsors include the MetLife Foundation, White Rose, 24 Hour Fitness, the New York Daily News, SiriusXM Radio, and WNBC 4 New York.

Registration is still open for a fee of $40 and a minimum fundraising requirement of $60. After July 7 the registration fee will increase to $50. Family members and supporters will have the opportunity to view the event from the Delta SKY360° Suite overlooking home plate.