Carrie Brady runs to help. Jason Purucker runs, bikes and swims to prove he can. Both run to fight cancer.
The art teacher and the student at Greenbrier High School are training to compete in a marathon and triathlon, respectively, as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Brady and Purucker practice with Team in Training, a program that provides training to run or walk a whole or half marathon, or participate in a triathlon or century (100-mile) bike ride. Participants conduct fund-raisers with 25 percent of the proceeds paying for the trip to their race and 75 percent going toward cancer research.
Since 1988, more than 275,000 volunteer participants have helped raise more than $600 million, according to the Team In Training Web site.
With a family history of cancer, Brady will run her fourth marathon and her first full marathon, 26.2 miles, in April.
She raised $3,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society earlier this year and hopes to raise $4,000 for her upcoming race in Nashville, Tenn.
"I think the whole idea of (Team in Training) was to focus on endurance events, because it takes endurance to fight cancer," she said.
She started running with her sister, Katie Hanson, when her mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer.
"My sister was the one who inspired me to start running," she said. "It's that whole sibling rivalry thing.
"But I really wanted to run for the people in my life who have or had cancer. I wanted to do something to honor them."
A Greenbrier senior, Purucker, 18, chose to compete in a triathlon for his senior project.
A member of the Wolfpack cross-country team, Purucker said he wanted to test himself.
"One of my friends competed in one and I got to thinking about it," he said. "I knew it was something that would be a good challenge for me."
Team in Training provided an outlet for Purucker to train for the one-mile swim, 30-mile bike race and 10-kilometer run he'll take on in April at the St. Anthony's (Florida) Triathlon.
The project also provided him the chance to support cancer research and awarness, he said. Like Brady, the teen hopes to raise $4,000 for the cancer society.
"That's also going to be a challenge," he said. "And I love to challenge myself."
Each will hold a series of fund raisers leading up to their events. Donations for Brady for her run can be made through her Web site at www.active.com/donate/tntga/tntgaCBrady.
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