Runners turn out for Nic’s Race

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 5:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -Time to stretch and warm up for the Short Family on a cool morning at Kincaid Park.

They take a “short” jog at the Connoco-Phillips Soccer Field to loosen up the legs.

“We’re not going to sweat too much, that’s good,” said Jessica Short. “We won’t stink up the car when we’re done.”

The family is among the dozens of people who take part in Nic’s Race. It’s named after the 13-year-old seventh-grader at Romig Middle School who died July 6th from Ewing Sacroma, a form of cancer. Nic’s mother appreciates the support.

“It’s awesome, and such a great way, it’s humbling to know there are so many people out there that care about Nic,” said Jane Nelson.

Nic’s Race is actually several events for adults and children.

“Nic was a real fun, energetic kid,” said Heather Helzer of Turnagain Training, which organized the event. She is also the race director.

“He loved endurance sports,” said Helzer. “He was a kid on my kids' triathalon team for two years, and was really a hard worker.”

“I think it gave him a lot of confidence. It was something that he could do, and make his own goals,” Nelson said. “He got better at the things he could do.”

The race had been planned for the spring, but along came the pandemic, which canceled it.

“Nic actually helped us design the race bibs, and kind of helped me dream up what exactly he would want for the race course,” Helzer said.

“I think he would say this was cool. I know he would think this is cool,” Nelson said as he reflected on how her son would have reacted to how his family and friends honored him.

The race took place the day before what would have been Nic’s 14th birthday.

All proceeds from Nic’s Race will support the Nelson Family, and the future Nicholas Nelson Scholarship.

St. Jude Children’s Hospital says about 70 percent of children with Ewing Sarcoma are cured. It tends to strike boys more than girls.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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