Run from the Rays

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Lace up locals! It’s time for the Run from the Rays 5k. It’s the fourth year for this local race, which brings attention to sun safety and raises money for charities that provide melanoma and other skin cancer screenings, treatment, education and research.

First, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of the upcoming event. It’s Sunday, April 24, at 7 a.m. at the Spanish River Athletic Complex (1370 Spanish River Blvd., Boca Raton).

Participants can choose among the 5K (3.1 mile) run/walk, one-mile run/walk for people 17 and older or the kids’ (16 years and younger) one miler. The 5K is $32.50; adult one-miler is $22.50; and kids’ run is $17.50—all of which include a $2.50 online signup fee.

Now, for the local angle to this running event. Boca Raton residents Fran and Nathan Nachlas, a Boca Raton facial plastic surgeon, decided to help their son Jake start a meaningful community project in 2012. At the time, Jake was a freshman at Pine Crest High School.

“Our daughter Hannah was at NYU and was very interested in dermatology. Combine that with the work that Nathan does with reconstructive surgery on patients after cancer removal, and the fact that his mom’s brother passed away at age 50 from melanoma, made it an easy decision that raising awareness about sun safety and about early detection and treatment of melanoma and other life-threatening skin cancers would be our cause,” Fran Nachlas tells the Fit Life.

The Nachlas family founded the non-profit foundation SafeSun, recruited two more Pine Crest families to join in the charity’s mission and made sun safety a priority.

“Our first Run from the Rays 5k was held in April of 2013, and, from the beginning, we had incredible community support. Over the past three years, with the generous support of many individuals and businesses in the community, we’ve given $100,000 to the charities we have supported,” Nachlas says. “We chose our charities carefully because we wanted to cover all bases: education about sun safety; research for a cure; early diagnosis and treatment for those unable to afford it.”

Among the charities that have benefited: the dermatology clinic at The Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, The Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, Dermatology Medical Missions, Moffitt Cancer Center’s dermatology research (which partners with Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Lynn Cancer Center), New England Melanoma Foundation and One Fund Boston.

The last charity, One Fund Boston, has a special significance to the couple.

“…Nathan and I were running the Boston Marathon at mile 25.9 when the bombs went off, just six days before Run from the Rays,” Nachlas says.

Click here to sign up or donate to the Run from the Rays cause, or call Race Director Fran Nachlas,-SafeSun, at 561/350-5110. Runners and walkers can pick up their race packets from April 16-22 at the Runner’s Edge store in Boca Raton.