Events raise money while encouraging exercise

The Cancer Walkathon is this weekend, Race 2 Educate is next weekend

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Shelly Stickler and Carter Brown ride their bikes, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Berg Park during the San Juan County Medical Foundation's annual Cancer Walkathon in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Two fundraising events will encourage people to get outside and exercise over the upcoming weekends. 

The first of these is the five-mile Cancer Walkathon put on by San Juan Medical Foundation. The walk raises money for Connelly Hospitality House, which provides a place for families to stay while traveling to Farmington for medical treatment.

The walkathon starts at 8 a.m. Saturday outside Connelly Hospitality House, 710 S. Lake St. People can register at 7 a.m. Saturday prior to the walk or online at  

Next weekend, the Race 2 Educate will challenge runners to compete in a 5k, 10k or a half marathon. The race raises money for the Farmington Municipal School District. It will start at 7 a.m. Sept. 30 at Farmington High School, 2200 N. Sunset Ave. The half marathon will take runners into Glade Run Recreation Area while the 5k and 10k races go through Farmington neighborhoods. The entrance fee ranges from $25 to $55 depending on which course people run. More information is available at

The two fundraisers are also ways for participants to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

Participants make their way along West Piñon Street, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, during the San Juan County Medical Foundation's annual Cancer Walkathon in Farmington.

"We are about health and we want people to be healthy and to be fit," San Juan Medical Foundation Executive Director Brenda Shepherd said.

The medical foundation added a new fitness challenge to the walkathon this year. It challenged more than 100 people to walk 100 miles each over the course of several months. The challenge began June 16 and participants have until Saturday to complete their 100 miles. Shepherd said the participants in the 100 challenge raise money for the Connelly Hospitality House, as well as awareness. The 141 registered participants were given brightly colored shirts to wear while walking and were encouraged to post their progress on Facebook.

Shepherd said one of the participants has walked about 400 miles since June 16.

These participants are considered the pace setters for the walkathon, which has been an annual event since 1981. Shepherd said 500 people walked in the walkathon last year. The event raises about $70,000 a year.

From left, Ron McNeal, Monica Sorrels and her husband Steve Sorrels walk, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, during the San Juan County Medical Foundation's annual Cancer Walkathon in Berg Park in Farmington.

"People here care for those who are battling cancer," she said.

Shepherd said the cancer walkathon is a celebration of survivors. Many people who participate have known someone who has had cancer or is a cancer survivors.

"It's just great to see and hear what motivates people to walk," she said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.