This was our 7th year of the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer and it was our biggest and best yet. It is a lot of fun to produce this meaningful event with such awesome people. Between all of our events, we had 4,231 participants and raised over $380,000 for cancer patients.
This message from me to our leadership team sums it up best:
I’ve been reflecting on how to express my gratitude to each of you the whole day. I’m not gonna lie, at times I’ve gotten a little emotional when I contemplate all the hard work and sacrifice. I know what goes into an event on this scale. I know you sacrificed time with your families. I know you gave up sacred hours of sleep. I know you were hungry, sore, thirsty, and some of you were sick (a special award should be given to nursing mothers as well). I know you drew deep into the well Saturday afternoon in the hot sun.
I also know it was worth it.
Yes! We raised a lot of money for cancer. Yes! We put on one heckuva party. Yes! We encouraged people to live healthier lives. Yes! We did all kinds of wonderful things. But you know why I love this event so much?
We draw people closer.
During the event, I was emceeing (my least favorite part) at the finish line while the two real emcees were over at the 10k. There was a pause in the flow of finishers and I noticed a young dad with two young daughters leaning against the finish shoot. They were wearing the same shirt that read, “Go Team Jill.” I asked them who Jill was and the dad responded, “She is our late wife and mother and our whole family is here to run the 5k to remember her.” I literally didn’t know how to respond to that. After I caught my breath, I said, “I’m so glad you can have this chance to remember her.” I’m not sure if that was a good response or not, but as I reflected on that interaction, I realized that we were connecting families and friends in a very powerful way. We were bringing them closer.
When I hatched the idea of the AF Half almost 8 years ago, I can tell you I had an enthusiastic vision of a huge community event. However, I never envisioned we would create something this special.
You are a major part in making this event a success! Each of you bring a mixture of talents and energy that makes the world a better place. I’m glad I get the opportunity to work alongside such incredible people. You draw people closer.
Thank you for joining the fight.