In just four years, more than $140,000 has been raised and donated to local charities through the annual Run From The Rays 5K run and 1-mile walk, this year slated for the Spanish River Athletic Complex in Boca Raton on Sunday, April 23.
Nearly 800 local runners are expected to participate in this year’s event. The 5K run begins at 7 a.m., while the 1-mile run starts at 8 a.m. A free Kid’s Run (under-8) begins at 8:15 a.m. The event attracted 824 runners last year.
“We are acutely aware of the statistics regarding the dangers of the sun’s rays, and wanted to get our family involved in somehow making a difference,” said Boca Raton’s Fran Nachlas, co-founder and director of the event. Nachlas, a surgical nurse, runs the SafeSun charity to help raise funds for the prevention and treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers.
“Since all of us like to run, a 5K seemed the logical choice as a fundraiser,” Nachlas said. “The funds we’ve donated [support] everything from life-saving melanoma research, treatment for those who cannot afford it, and education for school-age children about sun safety.”
Nachlas said her family chose the charities to support because they wanted to make sure where the funds were going to be used and develop relationships with the charities, and they wanted to make a difference in their own community.
SafeSun was started by Nachlas and her husband Nathan, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Boca Raton who has had to help patients overcome the devastating effects of the removal of their skin cancer. Nathan’s uncle died of melanoma at age 50. The Nachlases’ children, Jake Nachlas and Hannah Speer, and friends Charlie Luciano and Justin Friedman all help stage the event.
“We installed our first SafeSun Inc. free sunscreen dispenser at South Inlet Park in Boca Raton,” Nachlas said. “That was done in conjunction with the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation. We also plan on having dermatologists on hand at Run From The Rays to perform free limited-area skin checks.”
People can register for the 5K, 1-mile or the newly added Virtual Run option online atrunsignup.com/Race/FL/BocaRaton/RunFromTheRays5KRunWalk, or in person at Runner’s Edge in Boca Raton.
Once again this year, the first 750 preregistered runners/walkers will receive custom-made medals and T-shirts.
There will be awards for the top overall male and female participants as well as top three in each age 5-year age group — from 10 and under to an 80-plus male/female division. The cost for the 5K run is $30 through April 17 and $35 after that. For the mile run, the cost is $20 for age 17 and over and $15 for age 16 and under. Those who can’t be at the event can still take part with the Virtual Run for $30.
“The Virtual Run,” Nachlas said, “is for people who love our event and want to be a part of it, but can’t make it to Boca on race day. They can run their mile or 5K wherever they are and still earn the medal and T-shirt!”
The kids’ race, for ages 8 and under, consists of distances from 50 to 200 meters depending on age. Ribbons will be awarded for the free event.