A cross-country marathon, Coast to Coast for Cancer, that started on June 21 to raise money and awareness for cancer finished on the beach of Rehoboth Aug. 1. After starting on the West Coast, runners made stops in Denver, Des Moines, Washington, D.C., and finally, Rehoboth.
The last leg of the marathon, which started in Tuckahoe State Park in Queen Anne, Md., was run by Corey McMordie, a Des Moines, Iowa native, and Michele Smith-Jones, a native to Delaware, both experiencing their first marathon. McMordie, a cancer survivor of five years, started training in January.
"The run was a little wet," he said.
Runners on the final day experienced torrential downpours as well as some thunder and lighting along the road, pushing back their arrival time.
"I had Dr. Deming [the founder of Above and Beyond Cancer] with me running the entire time," said McMordie.
McMordie was also accompanied by his mother, a breast cancer survivor.
"She got out and ran a few miles with me," he said.
Smith-Jones, who grew up in Hockessin, heard about the marathon through advertisements for runners and wanted to support the people she was close with who suffered from cancer.
"I ended up finding out my good friend from high school has stage 4 colon cancer," said Smith-Jones. "It gave him such encouragement to have me running in this marathon."
As for the experience of her first marathon, she said, "It actually went really well."
She has been a member of Above and Beyond Cancer since the fall of 2011, and plans to continue supporting the organization.
"We've become a family," she said.
Throughout the run, contributions were made to Above and Beyond Cancer, raising just under $500,000 to donate to various cancer foundations.
Kimberly Price, another first-time marathon runner and cancer survivor, summed up the idea of the Coast to Coast for Cancer marathon easily.
"It's been an opportunity to bring a lot of individuals together for a common cause," she said. "It's been a way to inspire, create and transform the lives of people around us to let them know there is life above and beyond cancer."