Health Sciences Cancer Challenge FAQ

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Why should I participate in the challenge?
What kind of running experience is necessary in order to be part of this program?
What if I prefer not to run but would like to contribute?
How often will I have to run? What if I’m too slow?
What do I need to get started?
What will be required of me in addition to running?
Where can I find more information about the half marathon?
What is the team competition?
What is Better Than Ever?
Can my friends/family join?

How do I register?


Why should I participate in the challenge?
Teamwork, perseverance and the ability to make an impact locally on the fight against cancer.

The prospect of completing 13.1 miles may seem daunting, but it is attainable with personal dedication and the efforts of your team to achieve a common goal. The adversity this challenge presents to each runner is intended to be symbolic of the struggle a cancer patient must endure. The cooperation and teamwork necessary to complete this challenge represents the inherent nature of the medical profession and the natural teamwork associated with quality patient care.

Not only will you complete your personal half marathon goal, but you will be part of the greater cause – raising funds for women’s cancer research at the Arizona Cancer Center. Since 2008, health sciences students have raised more than $17,000!

What kind of running experience is necessary in order to be part of this program?
None. With over three months to train, you will have time to increase your distance over the season and we encourage you to incorporate walk breaks; you may also choose to walk the event. A training schedule will be provided which begins with minimal mileage and gradually progresses over time, and may include a run/walk method to reach distance goals. We encourage novice runners and those who have never run before to join. This is a great way for people to be introduced to a healthy, active lifestyle.

What if I prefer not to run but would like to contribute?
Please consider volunteering your time to help us fundraise for cancer research.

How often will I have to run? What if I’m too slow?
Members of each class will make up a team and be managed by a captain (fellow classmate) who is responsible for motivating team members and ensuring participation.

On Saturday mornings there will be a long run where the distance will increase gradually over the semester. All participants are encouraged to attend.

What do I need to get started?
A good pair of running shoes is vital to avoiding injury as you train for this endurance event. Sweat wicking socks (not cotton) are also encouraged to avoid blisters. These elements are especially important as the training runs progress in distance. Other than that you probably already have what you need in your closet, some old t-shirts and athletic shorts, pants, etc. A local running store (The Running Shop 3055 N. Campbell Avenue, (520) 325-5097) has offered to do shoe fittings along with a 10% discount (please mention the Arizona Cancer Center program “BTE” or “Better Than Ever” to receive this discount).

What will be required of me in addition to running?
In order to cover administration and supply fees, the UA Cancer Center has a $15* registration fee for the program. The Tucson half marathon is managed by a separate agency and has a standard $85 race registrationfee. HSCC members will receive a $10 discount. Each runner is required to pay that fee in order to register, and asked to make a donation or raise funds for the Arizona Cancer Center.

  • Each participant is asked to pledge to fundraise $80 for the UA Cancer Center.  
  • *The registration fee will be waived through Sept. 10

The deadline for HSCC race registration is September 29.

While some may be intimidated by the idea of having to raise additional money, the $80 fundraising goal should not deter you from participating (less than $0.90 a day from Sept. 1 until the deadline).

Where can I find more information about the half marathon?
The Tucson Half Marathon is on Sunday, December 11, 2011 (www.tucsonmarathon.com)
Phoenix participants may opt to participate in the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon on December 2 (http://raceplaceevents.com/event.php?event=401003)

What is the team competition?

  • Race Completion Times: On race day the finishing times of the top 10 runners from each college will be averaged and the best average time wins. That college will receive the champion’s trophy which will be handed down from the last winner. The winning college from each year will have their name inscribed on its base and the trophy will be proudly displayed at their school until next year when they must defend it.
  • Fundraising: The team with the most money raised will receive a special fundraising trophy/plaque signifying their commitment to fighting cancer and supporting the UA Cancer Center. The College of Pharmacy has won this award all three years.

What is Better Than Ever?
Better Than Ever (BTE) is an outreach program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center designed to encourage fitness for cancer prevention. Participants in BTE train for local running, walking or cycling events (including the Tucson Half Marathon) while raising funds to fight cancer. The HSCC is a sub-group of BTE for students, faculty and staff in the Health Sciences Colleges.

Can my friends/family join?
Yes! They are welcome to run with the team and fundraise for our cause. The money they fundraise will go toward your team total, but their finishing times will not be included in the champion’s trophy competition. If you think they might need additional support and guidance, consider suggesting to your family/friends that they join the Better Than Ever program. Fundraising goals are higher, but include more group training options and weekly newsletters.

How do I register?
Register online (coming soon): SACO Cancer Challenge Online Registration Form

More Information

Contact BTE Program Coordinator
Phone: (520) 626-7177
Fax: (520) 626-8606
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