Series Race #20 of the 2023 Season of the RUNColumbus Race Series is the Sloane Swanton 5K Research Run. We caught up with Sarah Swanton, the race director, to learn more about this second-year event.
How did you become a race director? I became a race director after losing our daughter Sloane, to a rare pediatric brain tumor called a clival chordoma. She was diagnosed in May of 2021 at 14 months old, and though she fought bravely, the tumor would not stop growing despite chemotherapy, and she died on September 14, 2021, at the age of 18 months. Being a race director was never something I thought I would do, but after we learned about Sloane’s cancer and that there isn’t a treatment plan, I wanted to find a way to do something to help other families who have children diagnosed with this awful type of tumor. All proceeds from the race are donated to the Sloane Swanton Research Fund with the Chordoma Foundation and used specifically for pediatric chordoma research, drug development, and treatment plan.
What’s the greatest challenge you face in your role? My greatest challenge, believe it or not, is right before the race begins. Knowing why we are there and who we are missing is a heavy weight to carry.
What’s the greatest reward? The greatest reward for me is knowing that for every participant at the race, we are raising much-needed funds to try and change the future for other children diagnosed with clival chordomas.
Besides signing up for your race, how can runners support and encourage you? This is a family event, with my girls also running the race, so honestly, we would love for those registering to find friends and family to join them.
Is there anything else you want people to know? I want runners to know that this race isn’t about profit, it isn’t about me, it is about how we ensure that other little girls like Sloane live to see their next birthday.
Final thoughts? I just want to thank everyone who joins us on September 10. We aim to have over 500 runners for the second annual Sloane Swanton Research Run and to be the country’s largest fundraising race for chordoma research.