Four thousand mile cancer run passes through Iowa City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Four thousand mile cancer run passes through Iowa City

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

A group of Iowa runners are part of a national effort to find a cure for cancer.

The Million Dollar Marathon, a four thousand mile relay run from coast to coast, passed through Iowa and Johnson Counties Thursday.

The journey is made up of 160 runners, each running a 26 mile leg before passing the baton to the next.

Pounding the pavement in sweltering heat, the trek from Grinnell to Iowa City is a daunting challenge.

It's one that pales in comparison to what Sarah Brannaman of Lisbon has gone through.

"You choose to fight," Brannaman said.

Brannaman has overcome cancer twice.

"Chemo's tough, but there are things out there that could be worse, too," Brannaman said.

Refusing to quit after hurting her ankle at the start of the run, Brannaman is riding her bike through Thursday's stretch, pushing herself for those who couldn't make the journey, including her mother who fell victim to the disease.

"I'm doing this not only for myself, but for those that can no longer run, for all of the little kids, little girls that hopefully someday they won't have to hear the words you have cancer," she said.

The journey raises money to fight cancer. 

So far the run has raised $500,000.

It also raises awareness that many instances of the disease are avoidable.

"Diet and exercise are as important as not smoking to prevent cancer," said Charlie Wittmack, executive director of Above + Beyond Cancer.

Proving that the fight against cancer is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Each step is a bit of progress toward finding a cure.

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