The second annual Wild West Cross Country 5K Challenge is scheduled from 7 to 10 a.m. March 29 at Bonnie Springs Ranch, 16395 Bonnie Springs Road.
The event is set to kick off with a quarter-mile race for children 2 to 6, followed by an all-ages 5K run and a 1-mile fun run.
“This year, we added a competitive 5K for individuals and teams, so they will start the run 30 minutes before the noncompetitive 5K,” said organizer Jennifer Moore. “We have a lot of top competitors run out there, but it’s also very family-friendly.”
Live entertainment, activities and booths are also set to be available. The event will close with an awards ceremony for first, second and third places in the competitive run.
“Everyone enjoyed it last year, so they requested that we have the same entertainment and everything,” Moore said. “It went surprisingly smooth, so we’re trying to keep it rolling the same.”
All proceeds are set to benefit the Nevada Diabetes Association’s Camp Vegas, a weeklong camp on Mount Potosi for children 7 to 17 who are diagnosed with diabetes. Last year, the event raised more than $10,000 for the camp.
“The goal is to sponsor every child who wants to attend Camp Vegas,” Moore said. “(The camp) is one of the best ways to realize they’re not alone in this.”
The idea to host the 5K came to Moore, an avid runner, and her husband, Patrick, a regular triathlon competitor, while at dinner one night.
“We were at a point where we wanted to give back a little, but we wanted to help in other ways than just writing a check,” Patrick said. “It was only an idea at first, and we just ran with it, no pun intended.”
Although the event is costly, the Moores’ driving inspiration is their 10-year-old daughter Payton, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 6. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells.
Payton was diagnosed in 2009 after she recovered from the H1N1 flu, or swine flu.
“We started seeing physical signs, but we thought maybe it had something to do with the flu,” Moore said. “We noticed she was losing weight, drinking a lot of water and using the restroom a lot.”
Moore and her husband said they researched her symptoms online but still weren’t convinced when the No. 1 cause was listed as diabetes.
“We went to the doctor very nonchalantly. When the doctor came back after running some tests, she said we had to go to the emergency room immediately,” Moore said. “We were at (University Medical Center) for five days.”
For the first two years, Payton received insulin in the form of shots. Now, she uses an insulin pump to monitor her glucose levels.
“It can be difficult sometimes, but it’s usually easy because I’ve learned what to do and how to take care of myself,” Payton said. “My parents and my doctors taught me a lot about diabetes and insulin.”
Despite her diagnosis, Payton continues to enjoy playing soccer, swimming, riding her bike and playing the piano. She attended the Nevada Diabetes Association’s Camp Vegas last year and completed physical and educational activities.
“It’s important to be confident in yourself,” Payton said. “If you’re not confident, then it’s easier to be afraid and not believe that you get through this. The support of my family and friends has kept me confident.”
Entry for the children’s race costs $15 per child. Entry for the competitive 5K, noncompetitive 5K, runs and the 1-mile fun run costs $40 per person. Same-day registration is set to be available at 6:30 a.m. at Bonnie Springs Ranch. Each registration comes with a ticket to the ranch’s petting zoo.
For more information or to register, visit crosscountry5k.com.
Contact Southwest/Spring Valley View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0403.