Every year we ask our participants to think about their reason for running, their motivation, or as some may call it – their “why” – the fuel that gets them over the hills, through the windy and long plateaus, out on raining mornings and persistent during scorching afternoons.

While each photo doesn’t give a complete picture of that team, nor does each person’s post give a comprehensive summary of that person and their why, this begins to show the varying perspectives and personalities that come from our many 4Kers, when asked the question “Why do you run?”

Our hope in sharing these are for others to more deeply understand the diverse ways that cancer has impacted each 4K team and every single one of our 4Kers. We hope it serves as a reminder that although cancer can and will pervade lives in a multitude of ways, our response and the collected reaction can be unified and stronger when we work together.

Cancer changes lives. So do we.


“I am running for my grandmother who passed away from breast cancer when my mom was 16 years old.  My mom has mentioned many times how hard it was to have lost a mother at such an important age in a growing teenagers life.  I didn’t meet my grandmother. but I wanted to run for her this summer so that I can feel more connected to her.”


“I run for those who can’t.  The beauty of why we run is that we will never meet a majority of those whose lives we have touched through 4K.  Every person whom we met along our journey has been affected by cancer through family members, friends, or directly, and these stories keep one foot moving in front of the other.  The cancer community exists as a widespread network of support and positivity, and I run to spread hope to allow others to keep fighting their battles.”


“I run for everyone affected by cancer.  As someone who lost a sister to a brain tumor, it’s so inspiring to see the nationwide support that’s present for cancer patients, and I want to keep that support and awareness going to the best of my abilities.”

Anna B

“I am running in memory of my grandmother who passed away in 2016 after a short battle with breast cancer, and for my friend Sally who passed away this past February.  Each day, their memory keeps me going as well as all the many strangers we have met along the journey.”


“I’m running for the friends, family and strangers who can’t”


“I am running in memory of my Grandma Isabelle, Uncle Richard and Kganya with the hopes of spreading their happiness and love of life across the United States.”


“I run for those who can’t. I run to make an impact and to inspire, as well as to be inspired by stories I hear along the journey.”


“I run because I am thankful for a strong and healthy body that can move again and an important cause that keeps me running.”


“I’m running this summer for all of my family and friends who have been affected by cancer. I have hope that one day we can live in a world that is freed from the miseries of cancer.”


“The kids in the DanceBlue Kentucky Clinic are the ones inspiring me to run. They have such strength at a young age, and it inspires me to run for them and everyone else battling cancer.”


“I’m running for my uncle Rick who passed away from a brain tumor two years ago, and my best friend whose father passed away when she was young.”


“I did the 4K because I wanted to take action and do something significant to remember the recent passing of loved ones, while helping make an actual difference for those currently battling cancer.”


“I run because it challenges me, inspires me and changes me.”


“I am running because I can. One of my previous 4K teammates, Steven Hensle, was unable to participate in the 4K because of a brain tumor, and when he passed away last summer, I knew I wanted to do the 4K again to honor his memory.  I’m also running for so many friends and family who’ve been affected by cancer; it truly unites us all.”


“I’m running this summer to show that cancer isn’t a losing battle – it’s a fight we can win.”


“I am running 4,000 miles this summer with the 4K for Cancer because I want to help bring awareness and support to the cancer community.  I want to honor my uncles and the wonderful lives they led. Both of them were always willing to lend a helping hand to a friend in need, and I want to follow their example by helping those struggling with cancer. Participating in the 4K for cancer run has allowed me to use my athletic abilities to bring a positive change to the lives of those affected by cancer. I want to inspire others to actively participate in the cancer community because no one is alone in their fight against cancer.”


“I run for my mom as well as those battling cancer. I always remember the reason why we run because every mile matters.”

Anna W

“I run to celebrate the opportunity to be able to run.”


“I am running across America with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults because I want to help support the cancer community by doing what I love.  My father was a runner and I have followed in his footsteps. I fell in love with running at the age of 10 when my parents took me to my first track practice. I want to run in honor of my father, grandfather and grandmother. Cancer has left a major impact on my life because I have had to watch my loved ones struggle through their battles. I want to use my athletic capabilities to help fight back against cancer.”