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Faces of the Race: A family affair

For the past two years, the Snow family of Sanbornton has joined LRGHealthcare’s fight against breast cancer by participating in the Tanger Outlet Center’s Fit for Families 5K Run/Walk. Shown at the 2010 event are Tim and Cherie Snow and their children, Makenzie, Alec and Jake. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
August 17, 2011
SANBORNTON — The Snow family of Sanbornton has been participating in the Fit for Families 5K Run/Walk for the past two years, and looks forward once more to honoring their Aunt Jane while helping to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness next month.

Tim and Cherie Snow and their children, Jake, Makenzie and Alec, have all run the 5K course, and hope to see other families enjoying the togetherness they have felt in their experiences.

"Face it — everyone knows someone who has gone through breast cancer, and we just feel it's important to get out and help," said Tim Snow.

When his wife's aunt, a much loved family member, underwent a mastectomy a few years ago, they came to realize the impact cancer can have on both the person and those who love them. Since that time, the family has involved themselves in the Tanger Outlet Center's annual race/walk in hopes of one day helping to find a cure.

The Snows are an athletic family by nature, spending a lot of time hiking, biking and playing sports. But whether people walk, run or jog the 5K, the family all agreed it was an easy endeavor, and nothing compared to those who face greater uphill battles for their health.

The oldest of the Snow clan is 13-year-old Jake, who said he's been glad to have his buddy Bryson along with him on the run each year. The two are able to chat and enjoy themselves before, after, and even during the race.

"I do this for my aunt, but I also like to stay fit and motivated. This time, I'd like to challenge a few more of my friends to join Bryson and I to run for a good cause," Jake said.

Younger sister Makenzie ran her first race last year. That run, in part, has inspired her to consider joining the track team at Winnisquam Middle School next spring. At 11 years old, Makenzie said she really enjoyed running along with her dad in 2010; this year, she is going make it a challenge.

"I'm going to beat him this year. I can do it," she laughed.

After participating in the 2010 race, nine-year-old Alec will be a veteran runner this time around, too, and looks forward to getting out on the course again. Last year, he jogged the distance with his mom Cherie and his friend, Joey. Alec said the course was "only medium hard" for someone his age, and really "no big deal" to complete.

Alec joked that he didn't believe big brother ran the course as fast as he claimed he did in 2010, so this year's race will take on a new dimension for the brothers, as Alec said he will try to outrun Jake.

In the end, it's all good-natured family rivalry and fun in the name of fitness, as they get out to support their aunt and others who have, or will, endure the battle against breast cancer.

The Snow family said they hope more families like themselves will participate this year and discover the closeness that comes about when everyone in a household becomes involved in a single cause. The children especially hope to see more kids their age walking or running the course to experience the satisfaction they get knowing they may be young, but they can still do something to help others.

This year's Tanger Outlet Center Fit for Families 5K Run/Walk, benefiting Lakes Region General Healthcare's Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives, will take place on Sept. 24. The course, which is designed for walkers as well as recreational and competitive runners of all ages and levels, begins at the outlet center and meanders through the J. Jill complex, up Sanborn Road, then circles around Vista Heights Road and back to Tanger's parking lot.

Registration forms for this year's run/walk can be obtained at Tanger's Shopper Services center or online at both tangeroutlet.com/race and active.com. The first 600 registrants will receive a special thank you gift, including a race tee shirt.

As a timed event, awards will also be presented to the top three finishers in each category but everyone who completes the 3.1-mile course will receive a medal for their participation.

"This is something I would really recommend families to become involved in and spend a day together. Breast cancer, or cancer of some form, has affected everyone in some way, and it's a just a great way to show your support," said Snow.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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