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Cabarrus Magazine

Expect New Booths & Good Times at the 5th Annual Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest

Oct 08, 2018 05:59PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

2017 Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest. Courtesy of Duke CTSI TransPop—MURDOCK Study's Facebook page.

This year marks the 5th Annual Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. It will take place Saturday, October 13th from 9 a.m. to noon. 

If fitness, fun, and healthy living are your passions, this is the event for you and everyone is invited. Hosted by the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the MURDOCK Study, the Healthfest will feature free yoga, Zumba, line dancing, health education, Walk With A Doc and more. 

Courtesy of Duke CTSI TransPop—MURDOCK Study's Facebook page.

Walk-up registration for the Duke Dash 5K starts at 8:15 a.m. in front of the Core Laboratory Building at 150 Research Campus Drive. The 5K and Walk With A Doc will begin at 9 a.m. Walk With A Doc is a 1-mile stroll with local physicians and features a discussion about heart health.

New this year is a medication drop-off station, where people can bring expired or unused medication. Other activities will include entertainment, a photo booth and vendors, plus door prizes given away throughout the morning. 

Be the Match, a program that helps patients in need of a bone marrow transplant find a match, is also new this year and will have its own table.

The Walk with a Doc program was started by a cardiologist. Perla Nunes, community engagement leader, had heard about the program and was looking to bring it to the Cabarrus county area. "I had heard about it when I was recruiting people for the Murdoch study, who have to live in this area in order to participate," Nunes told us. She later found out that Atrium Health was also looking to start a similar program, and so the Cabarrus county Walk with a Doc program was formed. 

This program meets once a month every first Saturday (except in October, where it will join the Duke Dash 5K  Healthfest) at Les Myers Park in Concord. It's a walking program for everyone interested in taking steps for a healthier lifestyle, while also having an opportunity to discuss all things health with a local physician. This event is always free and open to the public. 

The Duke Dash 5K is part of the Run Kannapolis series, and is a way for the Duke CTSI team to thank those participating in the MURDOCK Study. However, the entire community is invited to join in helping them thank the over 12,400 participants.

The MURDOCK Study is managed by Duke CTSI, stands for the "Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis, is a longitudinal health project and precision medicine initiative aiming to better understand health and disease," according to the FAQ section of the Duke Dash website. "Longitudinal means that researchers follow participants for years to better understand how their health changes over time."
Those who volunteered to participate in the community research project had vitals tested, measurements made, as well as blood work done, and more. This is all in an effort to isolate things like DNA, plasma, or RNA samples. Every year, as stated above, doctors will send out a questionnaire to see how each participant is doing. It's a way to track diseases and, hopefully, learn how to prevent them.

Additionally, there is a repository for each participant, and doctors studying anything specific may reach out to participants that might be able to assist in that study. Of course, permission must be granted first, but it's a way to continue moving forward medically. Otherwise the study is strictly observational. 

"We depend on our participants in the community," Nunes said. "It's something that will help us better understand health and disease."

The MURDOCK Study has paved the way in Kannapolis for new initiatives like the Project Baseline study. With the MURDOCK Study as the foundation, Duke’s work in Kannapolis — called Translational Population Health Research, or TransPop — continues to expand.

9 am Sat Oct 13 at the NC Research Campus

Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest - Oct 13, 2018 9:00AM

Join us for the fifth annual Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis! Register online now at or register the day of the... Read More » 


To learn more about the MURDOCK Study and TransPop, visit

To register for the 5K, go to

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