April 14 — AMERICAN FORK — In June 2014, Shantiell Mendenhall joined more than 3,000 people to run the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon & 5K for the purpose of fighting cancer. She ran for her son who was battling neuroblastoma.
"We ran for our 10-year-old son Ethan Mendenhall, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. Ethan was able to run the 5k, even with severe bone pain from his five-year battle with cancer. He ran and loved every minute of it," said Mendenhall.
"Participating in this race made Ethan feel very powerful, strong and accomplished. We were so proud to cross the finish line, hand-in-hand, with him. It was truly a family memory none of us will ever forget. Just four short months later, Ethan passed away. This event is much more than just a race to our family. It will forever be a connection to our son. We will run it this year and every year for our handsome hero, Ethan. We love you Ethan," Mendenhall added.
Now the run Mendenhall took part in has changed its name to truly reflect its mission. The American Fork Canyon Half Marathon & 5K is now the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer. The name change comes with a new logo and brand that's purpose is to highlight the cause of the race. One hundred percent of participants' race fees go to help local cancer patients fight the disease.
"We're excited about the rebrand of our event that allows us to focus more readily on the cause of the event," said Kevin Brooks, race chairman. "Our purpose is to raise as many funds as possible to help patients in our community to fight cancer."
The race, which is organized by Intermountain Healthcare, is also excited to announce its partnership with Kneaders as the title sponsor earning the name of the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer, Powered By Kneaders. This is the first year Kneaders has supported the race as the title sponsor and it will continue to provide its famous French toast to runners as they cross the finish line.
"Kneaders is thrilled to have the opportunity to increase our support of the American Fork Canyon Run, an event that benefits such a worthy cause," said Colleen Worthington, founder of Kneaders Bakery & Cafe. "We are committed to pursuing meaningful partnerships within our community and look forward to providing critical medical care to those who so desperately need it."
Last year, the event raised more than $250,000 to help patients in Utah County and beyond who are fighting cancer. This year, the goal on June 27 is to raise even more money as nearly 4,000 runners are expected between the half marathon, 5K and the new addition of a Kids Run.
Participants are encouraged to "Race in Honor" of someone, as all of us have been affected by cancer in some way.
For more information, please contact Janet Frank at 801.357.7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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