Thomas Boyer laces up his sneakers in Dubois for another day of training. His race isn’t for another 6 months, but he needs to make sure he’s in tip top shape for this one.
“When I first saw it popped up on my computer screen as a 4k for cancer, and I thought it was actual 4k, four kilometers. Turns out it’s actually 4,000,” laughs Boyer.
Yes, you read that right. Four thousand miles!
In June he’ll be running all the way from San Francisco to Boston over the span of 49 days. It’s for the Ulman Cancer Fund’s ‘4K for Cancer’. It’s a relay style race, where each participant will run about 16 miles a day.
Boyer says ever participant must be chosen, based off an essay on how cancer impacted their life. “I never met three of my four grandparents, two of which passed away from cancer. And the grandpa that I did meet did have cancer,” says Boyer.
The cross country run has been underway for the past six years. The Ulman Cancer Fund benefits young adults with cancer. “The Ulman Cancer fund hopes to fill some of those gaps, to make sure no young person is facing cancer alone,” explains run coordinator, Becca Eddy.
Many patients are in their 20’s, which is the same age as Boyer. “I mean it could be me, It could be my best friends,” says the Dubois native.
Running wasn’t always in Boyer’s blood. He grew up playing sports for the Dubois school district, but didn’t begin running until he met his fiancé.
Now, he has to stick to a strict training schedule which comes from his run coordinator, Becca Eddy. She knows what it takes because she’s completed the run.
“That’s probably the most amazing part of it, meeting cancer patients. We volunteered at cancer centers gave out small care bags,” says Eddy.
While he knows it may be a grueling 49 days, he’ll have his teammates to push him along. He says it will all be worth it when he meets the kids he’s helping.
“I just think they need somebody in their corner someone who’s going to fight for them,” adds Boyer.
Boyer says he’ll continue to update WTAJ when he begins his journey in June.