Damon Runyon News

October 7, 2020

Though the Runyon 5K, like so many things, looked a little different this year than it has in the past, participants were undaunted by the transition to a virtual race. Between August 24 and October 4, more than 450 participants walked, ran, hiked, or biked a 5K along a course of their choosing to raise funds and awareness for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

Team Rhino participating in Virtual 5K

Longtime local participants rose to the challenge of a remote event. “Team Rhino” captain Tracy Carroll discovered the Runyon 5K over ten years ago after her father passed away from esophageal cancer. Since then, Team Rhino has raised over $30,000 for Damon Runyon, and showed no sign of slowing down in 2020.

The team completed two 5Ks with friends and family and with Tracy’s coworkers at Eastlake Elementary School in Parsippany, NJ. They even had matching team masks, thanks to a friendly USPS employee who was able to intervene when the shipment got delayed.

“Of course, being able to be in Yankee Stadium for the 5K in years past has been cool, but for Team Rhino, it has never been about the location,” said Tracy. “It has always been about the cause.”

The virtual race also offered many Damon Runyon scientists across the nation the opportunity to join in for the first time. Researchers enlisted their families and labmates in their own versions of the Runyon 5K.

Damon Runyon Fellow and accomplished cyclist John C. Janetzko, PhD, went 3.1 miles and then some. In a first for the Runyon 5K, John rode 110 miles – or the equivalent of a stage of the Tour de France – dedicating it to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

To date, the 2020 Virtual Runyon 5K has raised more than $58,000 for cancer research, though many participants are still working towards fundraising goals and accepting contributions at runyon5k.org.