Run Across America. Fight Cancer.

Start Your Adventure

Join a group of young adults on a relay run across America this summer to raise funds and awareness for young adult cancer. Pick from 3 routes that venture 4,000+ miles across America over 49 days, June 16 – August 3, 2019.

We look for runners, ages 18-25, who have a connection to the cancer community, have experience being a part of a team, and have a desire to accomplish great things. The 4K for Cancer is the most unique life-changing experience available to young adults.

Please fill out the online application carefully and to the best of your ability. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

  1. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by a staff member from Ulman.
  2. The interview process (over the phone) will take approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Applicants accepted onto the 4K will have to complete the registration process which includes filling out participant information forms and paying a $100 registration fee.
  4. We cannot guarantee your first route preference after November 1st.
  5. To start, click the “Start Your Adventure” button below on this page.

Logistics: Participants run anywhere from 6-16 miles per day, averaging about 10-12 miles per day. Runners cross the country in a relay-style format. During the trip, team members run in pairs and are partnered with a different teammate each day. Rest days are every 3-6 days, and runners will have the opportunity to engage in local community service.  Each team is provided with three support vehicles to facilitate the relay and carry gear. The driving responsibilities are split among the team members daily. At the end of each runner’s segment, they have time to rest in the support van.

Accommodations: Churches, schools, gyms, YMCA’s, rotary clubs, etc host the teams each year. Members of the communities come together to provide a safe place for each team to sleep. The teams occasionally camp when they pass through National Parks or more rural communities. Each team is provided with tents for these occasions.

Meals: A majority of meals are donated during the summer. Hosts usually provide breakfast and dinner. For lunch, participants seek out food donations from restaurants and grocery stores in local communities. This process is explained and practiced during orientation before departing for the summer.

Shoes: Each runner receives 2 pairs of running sneakers from UCF for his or her run across the country.

Jerseys: Each runner receives 3 running jerseys and 2 pairs of running shorts.

Gear: Each runner also receives a branded t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and duffle bag once they register.

Each runner is required to fundraise a minimum of $4,500 to help support our direct services to young adults impacted by cancer and their families. Runners are provided with fundraising resources, including an individual fundraising page on our website. Runners also have access to Program Coordinators and alumni to help kickstart their fundraising.

On their journey, the runners participate in service events to provide support to cancer patients, deliver scholarships to young adults, and learn more about cancer treatment.

In addition to reading scholarship applications, participants are required to complete one of the following prior to their trip to fulfill service requirements,

  • Host a bone marrow registry drive
  • Read Ulman’s No Way guidebook
  • Write a one-page paper on a Young Adult Cancer issue
  • Volunteer at a local hospitality house or the Ulman House in Baltimore, MD

On-Trip

  • Visit cancer centers and provide support to patient, families, & staff
  • Deliver courage kits to patients
  • Deliver Ulman scholarships to young adults
  • Volunteer at other cancer organizations & hospitality homes

The 4K program provides a unique opportunity for leadership development. All participants have an opportunity to apply for the following leadership positions on their team.

Directors (2): Responsible for communicating directly with Ulman staff throughout the summer, enforcing policies and procedures, and leading their team daily.

Leg Leaders (6): Responsible for identifying and securing hosts for the team to stay at each night on the trip. Leg Leaders will also help secure meals and showers for their team.

Trainer (1-2): Responsible for monitoring any injuries and leading team stretching and preventive care.

Mission Coordinator (1): Responsible for on-road donations and managing the service events, on the road donations, and days of dedication.

Media Coordinator (1): Responsible for managing team social media accounts, encouraging press coverage, and documenting their trip through photo and video.

Thinking about receiving credit for your 4K for Cancer experience? Check out our recommendations on how to be successful.  

Ready To Join The Fight?

Applications for 2019 are open!

What Alumni Are Saying

It’s funny, you go in with all these expectations of the miles you’ll run, the places you’ll go, and the people you’re going to run with. You get so caught up in the adventure, that you overlook what’s really going to happen. You are going to grow. You are going to meet people along the way who have been through such heartbreaking and beautiful things, that it will give your life a perspective that you cannot imagine.

You will go places that change your life, your view, and your outlook on what matters. You will be stretched, and challenged in ways you can’t imagine. But when you get to that finish line all those days later, you will be different. You will have changed for the better. 4K is the ultimate dual degree in changing other people’s lives and changing your own. You’ve heard the saying before, but the 4k can be summarized in only one way…people change people.

Seth Rinehart

Team Baltimore 2016, Team New York 2017, & Team Boston 2018

Where there used to be a cynical, somewhat detached girl, there is now someone who knows there are so many good, honest people, and beautiful places. I have become someone who is slightly less scared to show emotions and who is completely attached to a team I spent an awe-inspiring summer with. The petty things that once bothered me seem so insignificant. When you get the opportunity to see people battling for their lives, with a smile on their face, you really learn to appreciate everything you’re given.

Emily Herold

Team New York 2015

The 4K means a million different things to me. Being a part of a team with 25-30 other people who have been in your shoes and know how hard it is to face cancer makes you feel like you can face those emotions and become stronger. It is humbling to know that with every footstep you take, you are not only growing as an individual, you are also inspiring so many people to get active and healthy. Most of all, you are telling survivors that you believe in their fight.

Lala Grau

Team New York 2015

The friends you create on this journey, no matter how long you don’t see them or don’t get to talk to them, where their lives are changing without you, these bonds you have created will never falter. You’ll meet people on the run with such different views, see places you would have never imagined in your wildest dreams existed in America, and you’ll take it in, it may be overwhelming at times, but when you run across that finish line, you’ll learn more about yourself, about your abilities, about what you cherish in relationships, leadership, and come to terms with just how much you as an individual can be an impact in someone else’s life.

Katherine Schaffer

Team Baltimore 2017

Got some questions?

If you are interested in 4K, but still have some questions before applying, reach out to us!