Run, ride, cure cancer

JACKSON, WY — Helping local cancer patients can be as easy, and as fun, as a run and a bike ride.

Come out for a day of fun duathlon racing Sunday, June 2 for the 20th annual Run & Ride for the Cure. All proceeds benefit the St. John’s Hospital Foundation Cancer Patient Support Fund.

Run & Ride, as the name suggests, is a duathlon — a 5 km run combined with a 15 km bike ride. There’s a competitive class and a “fun division,” so athletes of all experience and fitness levels are invited to participate. In addition to individual categories for men and women, there are men’s and women’s teams and mixed team categories, as well as a junior team and junior individual category for youth ages 12 to 15. For those who prefer walking, there’s also a 5k walk

Free kids’ races begin at 10:15 am, and no registration is required. Children ages 11 and under may participate in a non-competitive ¼ mile run and a three-mile out-and-back bike ride on the bike path. For the little tykes, there is a scoot bike race that begins at 10:30 am.

The start and finish of the race is located in the front driveway of Wilson Elementary School. The course for both portions of the duathlon follows the scenic Fish Creek Road–a beautiful two-lane country road that winds north of Wilson. The race is an “out-and-back” with the transition zone at the school, making for multiple opportunities for spectators to watch and cheer.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Run & Ride for the Cure has attracted thousands of participants and raised over $190,000 for local patients and families facing financial hardship as a result of their treatment for cancer. Last year, over 70 local cancer patients benefited from the fund.

“This has been an important project for Skinny Skis, and it’s an honor to collaborate with St. John’s Hospital Foundation for the Run & Ride’s 20th anniversary,” said Phil Leeds, founder of the event and owner of Skinny Skis in Jackson. “This community event is fun for all ages, and it serves an important cause: helping local cancer patients.”

The action begins at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 2. Registration is available online. Take advantage of early-bird registration prices! From May 20 through May 27, registration is $15/person. For groups of four or more, enter promo code “friends” to receive $20 off the total cost. Registration costs will increase to $20/person May 28 through May 31, and race-day registration will be available at Wilson Elementary for $25.

A note on “why we do it” from founder Phil Leeds

A few years ago Kate McLaren, one of the founding sponsors of Run and Ride, was at a party with St. John’s Medical Center’s oncology nurse Carol Poole. Carole came up to Kate and asked, “May I tell you how your fund helped someone today?”

Carole then told Kate about a 20-year-old young man who had testicular cancer and needed chemotherapy 5 days a week. It was really harsh treatment that came with horrendous nausea (think Lance Armstrong’s description in “It’s Not About The Bike”). This young man and his mother were from a nearby community outside of Jackson, and were camping up in Curtis Campground during the treatment. Carol approached them with the idea that oncology has this fund which would pay for rooms at the Hitching Post, across from the hospital. The mom burst into tears as they accepted the offer.

And this, my friends, is why we have Run and Ride for the Cure each year to raise what money we can for the St. John’s Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Patient Support Fund

 

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