Two 5K events were held in the Lynchburg area on Saturday, Sept. 7. The Hope for Tomorrow 5K drew 136 runners and brought volunteers and cancer survivors from as far away as Pennsylvania to Peaks View Park.
In Forest, the 9/11 Heroes Run honored the fallen of the Sept. 11 attacks and the wars since. Military, civilians and first responders are honored at 9/11 Heroes Run events held around the country and on military bases around the world.
Among those running in the Hope for Tomorrow 5K were 6-year-old Nathan Norman, his 10-year-old sister Sarah and their dad, Bobby Norman.
Nathan began having seizures on Dec. 24, 2007, just before his first birthday. As time progressed, the seizures became more frequent.
An MRI on Jan. 14, 2009 detected a tumor on Nathan's cerebellum, which was diagnosed as cancerous after surgery on Jan. 20.
Nathan had a second surgery for a cancerous tumor inside his spinal cord on Oct. 31, 2011 and has undergone numerous rounds of chemotherapy.
Nathan's cancer progressed again in September 2012 and he began a new round of chemotherapy. The medicines will stabilize the tumors, but will not get rid of the cancer.
The Norman family spent the first weekend in September in Washington D.C. at the Curefest event to kick off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The goal of the Hope for Tomorrow 5K is to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. Here are some facts you may not know about pediatric cancer.
One of every 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. Every three minutes, another child is diagnosed with cancer.
Many adult cancers can be diagnosed early; however, up to 80 percent of cancers in children have metastasized before they are diagnosed.
Only four percent of the five billion dollars the government gives for cancer research each year goes toward pediatric cancer research.
The E.C. Glass Girls Track team, under the direction of coach Amy Trent, provided help with setting up and timing at the event.
Along with the Hope for Tomorrow 5K, a bone marrow registry was held at Peaks View Park. Eighteen registered to donate bone marrow.
Randy Smith finished in first place with a time of 20:05. Erik Portillo came in second at 23:02. Reid Stewart finished third with a time of 23:14.
Rounding out the top 10 were Shaefen Seay, 23:33; Gwen Boda, 24:06; Denton Sisk, 24:19; Edward Goad, 24:35; Ryan Ware, 24:51; Danner Morrison, 25:06; and Tara Nunley, 25:09.
A special shout-out to my daughter, Jennifer Bryant, who finished her first 5K with a time of 38:33. A big thanks to Kenny Wallace for the photos taken at the event.
You'll find many area runners on Lynchburg's trails over the next few weeks. Many will continue to prepare for the 10 Miler by running the 3rd Annual Rachael's Paws & Purrs 5K & 10K on Sept. 14 at Amazement Square and the Blackwater Creek trail.
You can read more about these running events in Central Virginia at the links below. Running is a great way to get in shape while raising funds for many worthwhile causes.