Travis and Kacie Stephens understand that everyone’s dream vacation to Alaska may not include running a half marathon, but then again they are not everyone. For them the opportunity to help others is worth enduring the 13.1 grueling miles they will face in Anchorage this coming summer.
Kacie was approached last year by two co-workers at Centurylink about competing in “The Mayors Midnight Sun Marathon and ½ Marathon” in Anchorage, Alaska. Her co-workers were trying to recruit more local competitors to attend the event as a way to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program. Team in Training is the largest and most successful endurance sports training program for charity. It provides professional coaches to participants in endurance competitions for charity and participants have raised more than $1.3 billion for cancer research through the program.
Kacie and her husband, Travis, know how devastating the effects of cancer can be as Kacie lost her aunt, Jeannie Knight, in May of 2013 and Travis has lost both friends and family members to the crippling disease. It was because of these losses that the couple got serious about their health two years ago and have now decided to compete in “The Mayors Midnight Sun 1/2 Marathon” on June 21 of this year.
The two started their personal training in October of 2013 and then joined their fellow team in training members in the middle of January. Their team in training trains in both Forest Park and Creve Coeur. Even though Kacie and Travis are not able to make the trip from Troy to every training session they do make the trip as often as possible to train with the team they will be running alongside in Alaska.
The most important part of their mission, however, is not training; it is being able to raise funds for the cause they hold so dear to their hearts. “Everyone is or has been affected by cancer,” said Kacie. “People often feel they can’t help but a little bit here and there helps a lot.”
Travis says he just wants people to join in the cause “It (running the ½ marathon) isn’t about me. It’s about where the money is going. It’s an investment in the future of yourself, your friends and your family. Every mile I run every dollar I raise is helping to save someone’s life,” said Travis.
So far they have each raised roughly 500 of the $2,900 each member of the team has to raise to be able to compete in the half marathon this summer. If you would like to help Kacie and Travis in their battle against cancer you may do so by visiting their blog pages; Kacie’s can be found at http://pages.teamintraining.org/gat/anchor14/kstephe1i5 and Travis’ page can be found at http://pages.teamintraining.org/gat/anchor14/tstepheboj. The couple has also teamed up with several local businesses in the area to try and reach their goal and they are accepting checks, which may be mailed to Travis and Kacie Stephens 45 Brian Lane Troy, Mo. 63379. Please make checks payable to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.