It’s always fun and personally gratifying to complete a race and know you have done your best.
When you do an event which benefits a particular cause, it’s even more meaningful.
That could be why a race like Saturday’s Slay Sarcoma 5K in Core Creek Park/Langhorne continues to grow in popularity.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Slay Sarcoma competition is particularly timely.
When the event began six years ago, attendance was barely at triple figures. This year, race organizers expect as many as 400.
Bucks County’s Slay Sarcoma, a local chapter of what has become a national network of races, started out with a target goal of raising $1 million and it’s already more than one-fourth of the way, having generated $287,000.
Amber Trainer lost her sister, Amy Reed, to an illness called leiomyosarcoma, in part due to a flawed procedure for removing uterine tissue called “power morcellation.’’
The whole Trainer family became involved in the cause to help those who have been victimized by this condition.
Amber Trainer, for one, is encouraged by the show of support from Bucks County area runners.
“This cause is near and dear to our hearts,’’ she said. “Basically, what happened was my sister was a mother of six. Both she and her husband were doctors and said how can this be happening.
“They launched a whole national campaign. They went to the FDA to bring this to women everywhere. This procedure, power morcellation, had been done for the past two decades. And there was no correlation done to inform women who had this procedure done, if they had cancer, it was basically given them a death sentence because it introduced the cancer into their blood stream, basically spread it and drastically reduced their chance of survival.’’
The first Slay Sarcoma 5K was held in Tyler State Park. The next three were conducted in Yardley and this will be the second year in Core Creek Park.
One common thread: All the packet pickups have been held at Newtown Athletic Club, which has been a staunch supporter of the project.
“The NAC has been phenomenal,’’ Trainer said. “Every year we have the bib pickup there. The NAC offers sponsorships to us. They print things up, help with our marketing goals. They have been really supportive.’’
The Trainer family started the initiative because leiomyosarcoma is not currently funded nationally for cancer research.
“We started the race to kind of spread awareness, gain funds and do all of that,’’ Amber said. “This type of cancer predominantly affects women but also men. It’s not a common cancer but it affects women at a larger scale. It’s relatable in that it’s a women’s cancer more often than not.’’
Core Creek’s facilities should allow the race continued growth. There’s plenty of parking and open space and it’s close to NAC.
“The turnout has been amazing, being a small organization,’’ Trainer said. “It’s a little tough sometimes to compete with the more widely known races. But we tried to get the race out there.’’
There is also a “virtual’’ running component as well as a donation application.
“It’s amazing how we have people running virtually, people running in different countries,’’ she said. “They participate when they can. It really is great to see, with the advent of social media, you can get a wider range of people wherever they are.’’
Trainer was asked if progress is being made in this area of health care.
“It’s tough to say,’’ she said. “It’s takes a lot of money to make headway. We’ve researched different grants, different proposals that people submit. Our medical board looks it over and decides where to send the money. Some goes to Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. That’s where my sister went to medical school. So we’re partnering with research centers that have more means. A cure is what we’re fighting for.’’
Amber’s mom, JoAnn, is CEO of Slay Sarcoma and Amber’s sister, Andrea, is president.
Registration for the race is available at slaysarcoma.com.
Here’s hoping for a big turnout and good weather on Saturday to help a very worthy cause.
Slay Sarcoma 5K, 8:30 a.m., Core Creek Park, Langhorne. Contact www.slaysarcoma.com
Jackson’s Heroes 5K, 9 a.m., Warminster. Contact www.runsignup.com