By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
Anything is possible when a community comes together.
This past Saturday, the Grand Canyon University Running Club participated in the 8th Annual GCU Run to Fight Children’s Cancer. Eleven Lopes eagerly participated in the largest race in Arizona that is solely dedicated to raising awareness for pediatric cancer.
Running for a Great Cause
The Lopes were excited to help the local Phoenix community to combat children’s cancer by doing what they love: run.
“The highlights from the race first go out to all the children and their families who participated in the race events such as the Cancer Survivor Walk,” Lopes’ Head Coach Kim Sims said. “It was great to see all the children and their families having fun. Secondly, it was great to see our Running Club participate in such a great cause, and perform well in both the 10k and 5k races.”
Lopes’ freshman Ryan McQuillan won the 5k (3.1 miles) race, finishing first out of 1,455 runners. McQuillan finished with an impressive time of 18:27 with a 5:57 minute pace.
For McQuillan, this race had a special meaning.
“My aunt had cancer when I was younger,” McQuillan said. “I always thought running to fight cancer was a way to give my help to find the solution to cancer.”
Lopes’ senior Aislynn Brant ran the 10k (6.2 miles), and finished with a strong time of 50:54, placing fourth out of 18 in her age division (Female 20-24).
“I personally don’t know anyone with cancer, but before the 10k race started, one of the little girls, Abri, was talking about how she hopes that we can find a cure for cancer someday,” Brant said. “It almost made me cry because cancer took her foot, but she was still so positive.”
For Sims, the day was about more than just the race.
“It means a lot to me to me to give back to the Phoenix community,” Sims said. “Since I am a special education teacher having worked with quite a few students who have battled an array of pediatric cancers, it’s great to have an event like this to bring an awareness of childhood cancers and fund continued research and supports to families.”
The GCU Run to Fight Cancer is an annual event hosted at the GCU campus. All proceeds go towards bringing awareness and funding towards children’s cancer. The race has attracted thousands of runners to participate, give back and support the lifesaving treatment at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
|Coach Kim Sims||10k||45-49||1st||51:10:00|
|*won entire race|
Crazy about running? Contact Lopes’ Head Coach Kim Sims for more information.