Rank #1: Focusing on the Good
There's no such thing as an easy way to find out a loved one has cancer, but Lincoln and Lisa got a double blindside that feels especially brutal. "She felt a little bump on her shoulder — smaller than a pea," Lincoln says, "and she decided to go have it checked out. And the doctor that looked at her said, 'Well, the good news is that skin cancer is one of the most curable cancers there is.'"
As it turns out, though, this diagnosis was way off. Lincoln and Lisa's story is tragic, but beautifully told.
Rank #2: Paying It Forward
In the Spring of 2015, Teresa was not doing well. “I was going through a difficult, painful, heartbreaking divorce,” she says, “and I was wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt.”
Teresa’s brother, Adam, thought what Teresa needed was to challenge herself. According to Teresa, Adam said, “You need to figure out who you are. You need a challenge; you need something that's going to push you to your limits and really help you find that inner strength again.”
“There's nothing else that will help you do that,” said Adam, “except for running.”
“I just laughed in his face,” says Teresa. “I hadn’t run since junior high PE class.”
Now — years later and having run multiplehalf marathons, Teresa thinks that Adam was right. And she’s paying that important insight forward in a big way.
Rank #3: The Next Generation: Ty and Shawn Tear Up the Kids' K
There's a lot of attention paid to the AFCRAC half-marathon, but it's time that the Kids' K — the 1K run for aspiring racers — get its due.
It's a great episode with young racers Ty and Shawn, and contains some important reminders: running is fun, and getting a medal at the end is awesome.
Rank #4: The Reluctant Runner
Chris Bennett is an athletic guy…but surfing is his sport of choice. He has bad knees. He’s never run a half-marathon before. He doesn’t even likerunning, to tell the truth.
And yet, he’s going to run AF Canyon Run Against Cancer half marathon this year. He’s got his reasons. For example, 97thFloor — the company he’s CEO of — is the title sponsor of the event. And more importantly, he’s got a plan for beating the COO of the company through some very intense training.
And mostimportantly, he’s doing this race for a reason a lot of us can identify with: cancer has hit too close to home, too many times.
Rank #5: Run Jane, Run!
For most of us, events like the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer are all about completingthe distance we choose. The victory comes in the form of crossing the finish line at all, or perhaps in finishing with a personal best.
There are a few people, however, for whom this is truly a race. Jane Durfey, a three-time podium finisher, is definitely one of these few.
Even so, however, that’s not why this is her favorite race. Not even close.
Rank #6: Running and Remembering Together - Jayci's Family's Story
No family wants to find whether they have the resilience and strength to catalyze loss into legacy.
But that’s the challenge Jayci’s family has, and together — with their extended family — they gather each year at the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer. There, they run together and walk together, talk and listen together, and remember Jayci.
All while wearing very cool matching T-shirts.
Rank #7: Physics and Heavy Lifting
When a race starts high up in the mountain, early in the morning, having warm clothes and a blanket while waiting at the starting line is a must. And of course you want to be able to pick all that gear up at the finish line.
And with the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer, it is waiting for you at the finish line. How? Well, with a lot of commitment, smarts, hard work and a good plan — all of which race volunteer Ryan Hecox has in spades.
But “Race Volunteer” doesn’t even begin to cover Ryan, because Ryan’s day job is as a physicist, working behind the scenes to help people get their radiation treatment exactly right as they fight cancer.
And he does it all with a big smile on his face.
Rank #8: Utah Valley's Storyteller Tells Her Story
If you’ve live in Utah Valley, you almost certainly know about and read Utah Valley Magazine, which Jeanette Bennett and her husband launched in back in 2000, describing the magazine as a publication “for people who love the valley.”
What you may notknow, however, is that Jeanette and her small staff publish manypublications.
And she’s a mom of four young children.
With everything on her plate, you could well wonder how Jeanette is able to find time to be a runner. But she does find time. In fact, she is able to find time to run the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer each year…during which she’s had some extraordinary moments that have to be heard to be believed.
Rank #9: Meet the Organizers
Kevin Brooks had just finished doing an overnight relay race in Southern Utah with some friends. Exhausted and sleep-deprived, the conversation wandered over to the topic of downhill runs and the question of why nobody had put on a race down American Fork Canyon.
The question stuck with Kevin more than you’d think anyidea born of a post-race rambling might. By the end of the next workday, the question had blossomed into an idea.
Listen to race organizers Kevin and Holly talk about the beginnings of the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer, the people who participate, and what makes this race important.
Rank #10: Different Victories
She’s a mom of three little girls. She’s a wife. She’s a competitive runner. She’s a blogger. And she’s in long-haul cancer treatment. She doesn’t have much time or energy, but she still manages to do it all. There are no two ways about it: Amber is a true inspiration.