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Boston Marathon runners have raised more than $100 million for cancer research

Kelli Hesseltine of Westford (center) ran the Marathon for Dana-Farber in 2015. Suzanne Kreiter/File/Globe staff

Boston Marathon runners who compete on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have raised more than $100 million for cancer research since they began running to benefit the institution in 1990, Dana-Farber announced Thursday.

All the money raised by the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team of runners has gone to the institute’s Claudia Adams Barr Program in innovative basic cancer research, which has used it to fund almost 300 cancer research initiatives, said Colleen Brown, a spokeswoman for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Runners raised more than $6.5 million in last April’s marathon for Dana-Farber, an exponential increase from the $100,000 raised when they began in 1990, Brown said.


In the upcoming 124th Boston Marathon on April 20, Dana-Farber is set to have more than 500 runners with a goal of raising $6.25 million, Brown said. As of Tuesday, the institute had raised $551,631 ahead of the 2020 race.

Nonprofit charity organizations such as Dana-Farber must be recognized by the Boston Athletic Association to have runners compete on their behalf.

In July, the BAA and John Hancock Life Insurance Company announced that runners had achieved an all-time fund-raising record of $38.7 million with the money they raised for various charities during this year’s race.

Maria Lovato can be reached at maria.lovato@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.