MURDOCK Study to host free health and wellness festival Sept. 24 in Kannapolis

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2016

400 runners expected for Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest featuring free yoga, dance classes, health screenings and more


KANNAPOLIS — Fans of fitness, family fun and healthy living will find something for everyone at the Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest on Saturday, Sept. 24 in Kannapolis, and all activities are free.

The festival at the North Carolina Research Campus hosted by Duke University’s MURDOCK Study from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday will feature free yoga, Zumba, line dancing, health screenings, Walk With A Doc and a 5K race. Other free activities will include Touch A Truck, face painting, entertainment on the main stage, a photo booth and more, plus valuable door prizes given away throughout the morning.

Carolinas HealthCare System will offer free health education and health screenings, and more than a dozen vendors will sell food, drinks, jewelry, handcrafted items and more. The MURDOCK Study is hosting the Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest — part of the popular Run Kannapolis 5K series — as Duke University’s gift to the community and to the more than 12,200 participants who have joined the study. Duke manages the MURDOCK Study in Kannapolis.

The public is invited to enjoy the race, entertainment, vendors and more. Thanks to the enthusiastic response to the 5K, organizers have closed registration with 400 runners. People who aren’t in the 5K can cheer on runners at the finish line in front of the Core Laboratory Building or participate in the one-mile Walk With A Doc, featuring a discussion of heart health by Dr. L. Kristin Newby, principal investigator for the MURDOCK Study and a Duke cardiologist, followed by a stroll with Newby and local physicians.

“This festival, which is the third annual MURDOCK Study Community Appreciation Event, is our way of honoring our participants and the entire Kannapolis and Cabarrus County community,” said Perla Nunes, community engagement leader for the MURDOCK Study. “We invite everyone to join us for a morning of family fun, healthy activities and entertainment. Look for me on the dance floor for line dancing and Zumba!”

Welcome tables will open 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 both begin at 9 a.m. but will use different starting points and routes. Walk With A Doc will use the horseshoe-shaped sidewalk in front of the core lab.

Family fun will follow immediately after the walk and 5K with local vendors, food, activities, yoga, Zumba, line dancing and dance performances, as well as free blood pressure checks and other screenings. All community members are welcome, including four-legged ones. People who want to take the free yoga class at the Veteran’s Park gazebo should bring a yoga mat.

Launched in 2007, the MURDOCK Study now has more than 12,200 participants, making it one of the largest and most unique studies of its kind, with nearly 460,000 biological samples and related data generously donated by members of the local community. The MURDOCK Study, which 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 using advanced scientific technologies, expert researchers and close collaboration with a strong network of local and regional partners. Longitudinal means that researchers follow participants year after year to better understand how their health changes over time.

“Duke University and the MURDOCK Study promote health and wellness in our local area, and the purpose of the Community Appreciation Event is to thank this community for welcoming Duke with such excitement to share in the vision of a healthier future, and to provide an outlet for health knowledge and activity,” Nunes said.

To learn more about the MURDOCK Study and Duke University’s other projects based at the North Carolina Research Campus, visit To learn more about the Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest, visit