Pounding the pavement for a cause motivates runners

By Erin Goff, KSL | Posted Oct 20th, 2017

AMERICAN FORK — Running for fallen officers, walking for suicide awareness or running for cancer families, almost every given weekend, you can find a cause to motivate you to cross that finish line.

Cancer survivor and Intermountain CEO Marc Harrison kicked off the American Fork Half-Marathon in June, then ran the course himself.

"It's beautiful and it has a tailwind, so it's like even better. So it was absolutely gorgeous, really nice and cool. A little cold at the start but then you warm right up," Harrison said.

The race raises money for the families of those fighting cancer. All the money raised goes for meal cares, parking vouchers and helps pay for places to stay for cancer families.

And with cancer touching one out of every two men and one out of every three women over a course of a lifetime, Harrison said this is an event that's good for the body and the soul.

"I think the connection between sport and community and the fight against cancer it's just a total natural," he said.

A sea of people wearing pink T-shirts carried Lani Pili through her very first 5k. She's currently fighting cancer.

"It was so important because not only to show support to those that I've been fighting with and are currently fighting, but I now have a new purpose to show people that we can totally do it," Pili said.

It's often a family affair, with even the younger ones running 5ks, 10s, and even the half-marathon.

"If you want to run a half-marathon, you have to train really well and they have to train for a long time. They have to know how to build up their stamina," said 11-year-old Max Searcy.

Searcy ran with his mother, Amie Searcy, and beat her. She recently beat cancer.

"I run this race two-fold. One is to raise money for the cancer patients," Amie Searcy said. The second she said was to stay healthy and feed her passion for the sport.

The sport is not easy, no matter the cause. Other runners offered some advice for all.

"I set little goals," said Derrick Tornow. "So I have a watch and I say, "All right, I"m going to run a half-mile and then if I feel good I'm going to run another quarter mile and then I'm going to run another half-mile,' so I break it up into little segments and then I'm able to finish the big race."

And finishing that big race changes some lives at the same time.

"For me to come out and appreciate being well enough to run and being part of a community, it's perfect. It's a good day," Harrison said.

Registration is already open for next year's American Fork Canyon Run Against Cancer. Go to afcanyonrun.com to sign up.

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The AF Canyon Run Against Cancer is all about running for a cause. Each person runs for their own reason — and we’d love to hear about it! Connect with us and share your experiences using hashtag #afcanyonrun #whywerun.

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