First half marathon down AF Canyon to raise money for cancer patient

Janet Frank



Fighting cancer is hard enough without having to worry about how to pay for it. Taking that worry away for patients in Utah County is why hundreds of runners are signing up for the first-ever half marathon down American Fork Canyon.

Runners like Team Stephanie – a 41-member pack coming together from around the country to honor their sister, daughter and friend.

“I can’t even imagine what fighting cancer might be like if you’re also concerned about how you’re going to pay for the treatment, so this is a wonderful cause for Team Stephanie. In our experience, Stephanie had great insurance so I know she would have been very concerned about others who had this added financial burden on top of dealing with the already tough battle against cancer,” said Maren Petersen, mother of Stephanie Petersen who died last year from small cell ovarian cancer.

The AF Canyon Half Marathon, hosted by American Fork Hospital, is set for June 25, with the half marathon buses leaving from American Fork High School and the race starting at Tibble Fork Reservoir at 6 a.m. 5k runners will start at 7 a.m. at American Fork High School and both races will finish at the high school where participants get to enjoy French toast at the finish line!

“We’re excited to host this unique event and to be the first race to run down American Fork Canyon,” said Kevin Brooks, assistant administrator at American Fork Hospital. “We’re even more excited to inspire people to run for such a great cause.”

Stephanie Petersen graduated from Alta High School in 2002 and then followed her dream of becoming an architect by graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2007. Two years later, her plans were interrupted with the diagnosis of small cell ovarian cancer. Stephanie fought to get her life back, but succumbed to the disease on June 27, 2010. Her relatives and friends will complete the half marathon in her honor just two days before the first anniversary of her death.

“Above all, Stephanie was known for her radiant smile. She wore that smile throughout her life, even during her illness. Stephanie faced cancer with amazing strength, courage and grace. She had said that she would always be involved in the fight against small cell ovarian cancer; we are now taking up the fight in her place,” said Maren Petersen.

Each runner in the AF Canyon Half Marathon will receive a high-quality men’s and women’s specific Nike athletic shirt and there will be lots of great prizes, drawings and giveaways. For more detailed information about the event or to register, please visit Information can also be found on Facebook at

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