Wayne Sleight runs with his wife, family, and friends. He runs in honor of his father. And this year, he’s bringing his whole company along.
Wayne Sleight is the COO of AF Canyon Run Against Cancer sponsor 97th Floor, a full-service digital marketing agency, headquartered close to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. But he’s been doing this race long before his company came aboard, and has made a habit of bringing family and friends to this race — whether to run with them (like his wife), or to run against them (his best friend).
Regardless of who he brings along, in the end it’s for a great reason: Wayne hates cancer, and loves the healing process that the community around this run brings.
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Wayne is a thin, fit guy. Someone who looks like he could run a half marathon without really even training for it. Which, years ago at the Provo Canyon Half Marathon, is exactly what he tried to do.
It did not go well for him.
“I didn't train for it,” Wayne confesses. “I didn't think thirteen miles was going to be that long, and it was. it was terrible. I was just inexperienced.”
Since then, Wayne’s upped his game considerably, and now he’s done several half marathons, and has even run the St. George Marathon. He’s learned his lesson and has advice for anyone thinking of doing the half marathon version of the AF Canyon Run against cancer. “Take it seriously,” Wayne says. “Don’t think that thirteen miles is just one mile, thirteen times. And be sure to get some of those runs in the morning, especially if you’re a night owl.”
Running with Family
One thing Wayne has been remarkable about is bringing his family and friends to the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer. When thinking about the times he’s done this race, Wayne notes that 2017 was his favorite year, because he ran the whole thing with his wife.
“The year before I had my [personal record],” Wayne notes, “but 2017 was my favorite. I ran the whole time with my wife right next to me, all the way to the finish line.”
“She might have even finished a millisecond ahead of me,” says Wayne.
Wayne’s wife wasn’t the only family along for the run, however. “There were five or six of us — family members from Vegas and Southern California,” says Wayne.
Running for a Reason
As mentioned earlier, 97th floor sponsors the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer. Wayne explains that it’s no accident his company chose to sponsor this race: Wayne lost his father to cancer, and it still hurts.
“The race is beautiful, but the cause is more important,” says Wayne. “But just as important is the healing process. Anyone that's been affected by cancer, if they lost someone — in my case, my dad — or just had to struggle through and see the pain.”
Wayne’s explains, “There's never a complete healing. You're going to go through your whole life, you know, constantly trying to get better. This is one of those times every year when I feel like I heal a little bit more.”
“At this run,” Wayne says, “I’m surrounded by a community where everyone else has been affected in similar ways to me. And that's a magical thing.”
Wayne concludes, “So yeah. I want to be a part of it for the rest of my life.”