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Team Ian Run a success despite decline in numbers

Lise Alves, Ian’s mother, crosses the finish line at the third annual Team Ian Run on Saturday morning at West Fargo High School. Dan Francis / Dan Francis Photography

The third annual Team Ian Run was held on the West Fargo High School track on Saturday. 

The event is held in honor of the late Ian Alves, a West Fargo student and runner who lost his 18-month battle with cancer on Dec. 7, 2012.

The 1-mile and 5k walk/run events saw a combined total of 200 participants, 80 of whom registered on race day.

That number is lower than the previous year’s total, as several cross country teams from the area participated in support of Ian. Despite a decrease in participants this year, event organizers were still pleased with the turnout.

“The numbers weren’t as high as last year, but that is understandable,” said Brad Amundson, a former teacher and coach of Ian. “Ian was going through his battle at this time last year, so we had a lot of support. Our goal for this year was to match the numbers of the first year, and that is what we did.”

Proceeds from the run went to the Children’s Oncology Group, which is a program within the National Childhood Cancer Foundation: a cause Ian’s mother, Lise, deemed worthy.

For the first time, this year’s run was also accompanied by a “virtual run,” allowing those unable to attend the run to still donate and and take part.

Organizers, though pleased with the run, hope to continue expanding it in the coming years.

“We plan to continue on in his honor,” Amundson said. “The goal is to make this as big as possible. We have had a huge base of support from those in West Fargo Public Schools, but we hope to get as much of the community involved as we can.”