Thousands walk, run in 12th annual Spirit of Survival

Thousands walk, run in 12th annual Spirit of Survival
(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It was the shot heard 'round Southwest Oklahoma early Sunday morning with the starting pistol that kicked off the 12th annual Spirit of Survival races! 3,000 people ran the half and quarter marathon, and the 5K. The whole weekend of healthy races is to raise money for the three Cancer Center locations in Southwest Oklahoma.

As the races came to an end Sunday morning, Race co-director Lane Hooten said he it couldn't be done without the participants.

"We appreciate the communities of Southwest Oklahoma who support this," Hooten said. "We have people from every community. The three hospitals who own the cancer centers, we're grateful to them. It's a great way to bring everyone together."

Spirit of Survival 2017 winners:

Half Marathon Half Marathon
1st - Caroline Peyton 1st - Nathan Swaim
2nd - Kim Abel 2nd - Todd Newton
3rd - Melissa Jewell 3rd - Chris Copeland
Quarter Marathon Quarter Marathon
1st - Amanda Schoen 1st - Elijah Patterson
2nd - Molly Alonzo 2nd - Brandon Clark
3rd - Jessie Gross 3rd - Frank Walker
5K 5K
1st - Cheyenna Villarreal 1st - Justin Hill
2nd - Cammi Edwards 2nd - Landon Ellis
3rd - Makayla Hamon 3rd - Brent Baggett

Full list of the runners can be found here.

Kids Marathon

The Spirit of Survival fun continued into the afternoon with the Kids Marathon at the Museum of the Great Plains. Along with the kids running, they had fun activities for the whole family!

One 6th grader had a very important reason for running. His grandma was diagnosed with cancer, but is getting better.

He said his family comes out to the Spirit of Survival every year.

"I mean cancer is a big thing that a lot of people have to deal with so it helps to have things like this to help treat those cancers," Lyontez Bassu, 6th grader.

The Kids marathon gives the children a chance to participate in the Spirit of Survival if they are too young to run in the races Sunday morning.

Here are the nine schools that participated and won in the Spirit of Survival Kids' Challenge!
The kids logged their miles, 25 to be exact before the Kids walk, and these are the top schools.

Small School Category
1st - Altus Christian Academy
2nd - Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences
3rd - Saint Mary's Catholic School
Medium School Category
1st - Crosby Park
2nd - Hugh Bish
3rd - Whittier
Large School Category
1st - Woodland Hills
2nd - Freedom
3rd - Pat Henry

Spirit Walk

The kids marathon is followed by the Spirit Walk, which closes out the Spirit of Survival weekend in a special way. The walk is for families who have been affected by cancer with no time limits. It gives a chance for the participants who may have cancer to go at their own pace.

Some, like Debbie and Gary Pratt, use this walk as a celebration. A way to mark their battle with cancer.
The couple were both diagnosed with cancer a year apart, and helped each other until they were cancer-free.

This morning's race left them speechless.

"I don't know that we could describe that with words," Gary said. "We've done this for a few years now, but when we finished this morning Debbie just began to cry and I did too. Because I don't think words are adequate. The feeling is we are very grateful. We want to celebrate. We realize how fortunate we are to be able to do this, and I don't ever want to take my health for granted or what God has done in our lives. So, it's hard to put that into words, It's more of a feeling."

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