More than 1,200 participated in the annual Survivors’ Challenge

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 108 views 


story and photos by Ruby Dean
[email protected]

The chilly brisk air of fall could not stop the more than 1,200 individuals who registered for the 20th annual Survivors’ Challenge held Saturday (Oct. 22).

The race began at approximately 8 a.m., and included a 1-mile walk, a 5K walk and run and a 10K walk and run.

Race registration began at 6:45 a.m., with lines as deep as 20 people at times. The event is the area’s largest footrace and it began and ended at the Reynolds Cancer Support House. Both the 5k and 10k courses were USATF/RRTC Certified. The 10k is Grand Prix race #17 on the 2011 Arkansas Grand Prix Circuit. The races were chip timed.

For one dad, the race was an important one in which to participate. His wife and daughter attended to cheer him on. He ran the race in memory of his daughter, Leightyn Holmes. Leightyn had just turned 5 and was starting school. Her only complaint was headaches. The doctor thought she was just nervous and anxious about starting school. Unfortunately, Leightyn died of a brain tumor 14 months ago.

The first ever Unrun was held this year. For those who weren’t a morning person or don’t like to sweat, they could register for the Survivor’s Challenge Unrun and donate $20.

All of those who participated in the races were given a tech shirt with paid 5k and 10k registration. Individual and team awards were given at the end of the race in Creekmore Park during the Finish line Festival. Cancer survivors of all ages, types, and stages were recognized.

The Finish Line Festival was held in Creekmore Park with live music provided by the Boxfoot Blues Band. Free face painting was also available. Tables were set up with free gifts including ribbons to support family members and friends who either have cancer or are survivors.

The Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith provides cost-free, non-medical support programs and services to cancer patients and their family members. Appointments for their support services are welcome, but are not necessary during regular office hours.