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GCU Running Club Eager to Run to Fight Children’s Cancer

March 12, 2018

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.

Race Results

Ryan McQuillan* 10k 15-19 1st 18:27
Kaylee Padour 10k 16-19 2nd 46:46:00
Kaley Ault 10k 20-24 6th 54:11:00
Julia Allen 10k 16-19 1st 46:46:00
Coach Kim Sims 10k 45-49 1st 51:10:00
Brittany Wagner 5k 20-24 20th 35:01:00
Naomi Hopper 5k 16-19 1st 22:53
Jozabeb Gutierrez 5k 16-19 17th 34:32:00
Reyba Calcona 5k 20-24 7th 29:46:00
Veronica Ortega 5k 20-24 15th 32:19:00
*won entire race

Crazy about running? Contact Lopes’ Head Coach Kim Sims for more information.