Hope filled the air on the early morning of May 18th as nearly 180 people took to the streets of Williamson’s West End to play a part in fighting cancer in their own way: by running. The Colors of Hope 15K/5K/1 mile walk gives participants an opportunity to move forward to the future of cancer research by giving all proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
Chasing After A Cure
Running for a cause is nothing new for the members of the Tug Valley Road Runners Club (TVRRC). For years the club has been hosting events to raise money for numerous charities, both local and nationwide.
Alexis Batausa, TVRRC president, said the deciding factor in choosing the American Cancer Society for this race was that “There are so many causes out there when it comes to cancer. It was perfect and the right thing to do to have all proceeds go towards cancer research, education, and awareness.”
The American Cancer Society has played an important role in the Williamson community in the past, and with the absence of Relay for Life, the TVRRC decided this event may act as a way to continue giving to the cause.
Many folks in Williamson have personal experiences with cancer and see the American Cancer Society as a valuable, necessary resource when looking for new treatment options and an eventual cure.
One of these personal testimonies came from Stephanie May, a local teacher, who was diagnosed with cancer this past fall and is now proud to be a breast cancer survivor. In recognition of the good cause and in celebration of her recent victory over cancer, May’s husband, two sons, and other family members battled the hot Saturday sun to cross the finish line.
Tyelin May, May’s son and local high school senior who was among some of the first to finish the 5K, said, “It means a lot to be able to win it and run it for her.”
May’s family was not alone in their reasoning for running. Leigh Ann Ray, TVRRC treasurer, said, “It is a rare person who hasn’t been affected by cancer.” With survivors, family members, and a few good samaritans, the TVRRC brought together a community who has shared experiences with cancer, whether it be direct or by extension, to fund the future of cancer research!
However, the fight against cancer doesn’t end at the finish line. The American Cancer Society does work year around with tons of different ways to get involved!
The TVRRC hosts countless events and races like this in the area, and this happened to be the last event in their most recent Hog Trial Series.
This series consists of three races running one monthly from late March until mid-May with a common goal of building race participation. Runners who completed all three events received a Hog Trial’s Series Finisher medal and special t-shirt.
When asked about what really set this series apart from their other races, Batausa said, “I believe what makes it different is working with the Big Sandy Road Runners group out of Pikeville, KY. It was good to collaborate and partner together.”
Through this collaboration, the TVRRC was able to give to more than just one cause in recent months. As part of the Hog Trial Series, TVRRC members participated in the Big Sandy Road Runners’ Hillbilly Days Run for the Kids in support of Shriner’s Children Hospital.
If you’re interested in learning more about local races (especially those for a good cause), check out the Tug Valley Road Runners!