On Sunday, July 21, Reach Athletes ventured to wine country to run the Napa-to-Sonoma Half Marathon. I had the pleasure of capturing the event and spending the weekend with the runners who came together from California, New England and Illinois. And what an incredible weekend it was!
The team raised more than $86,000 for patients and their families who are facing the financial burden of cancer. Watching them share stories over dinner, hang out by the pool, and courageously cross that finish line reminded me of the joy of being part of something greater than yourself.
Raising funds and training for a half marathon can be intimidating. I watched a few of my coworkers on the team balance working full-time, caring for loved ones, and fundraising all while following their training plans. Yes, it’s a big commitment, but after watching them experience Napa together, it’s so clear that the reward outweighs the rest.
During a team dinner on Saturday, Reach Athlete Rina shared the story of her son Lucas and his cancer journey before he passed away in May 2016. We learned about Lucas’s love for firetrucks and his ability to spark joy in others. She told us that his nickname was ‘Bear’ and how he loved being with his friends during his short time in school. It quickly became apparent that he learned his inclusive ways from his mom.
Rina’s transparency and heartfelt story strengthened the team bond in a truly unique way. In this moment, everyone was reminded of the ‘why’ behind their motivation for running. Whether it was for someone in their heart or for families like Rina’s, the team pushed forward and completed the course with smiles on their faces.
Thank you to the incredible Reach Athletes who take on these challenges so patients can receive the support they need to get to the other side of cancer.
Take a peek at the photos below to get an inside look at Napa. And if you’re ready to make an impact, learn how you can join Reach Athletes in Las Vegas this fall!
It’s not too late to help this team make an even greater impact! Donate today.