Bengal To Run Boston Marathon In Memory of Former Student

Mile after grueling mile, the major reason Kandi Rasmussen pushes herself toward a personal best is never far from her mind: His name is Tyler Robinson – the Brighton High student whose courageous battle with cancer inspired the rock group Imagine Dragons to immortalize him with the song “It’s Time.”

Rasmussen, a Brighton hall monitor, is running the 2015 Boston Marathon, as well as a handful of other races, to honor Tyler’s memory – and raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Every penny of the money raised on her races, she says, will go directly to cancer research. “It’s so nice to have a reason to run,” says Rasmussen, who has worked in public schools for 28 years. “And I like to run with hope.” 

Rasmussen met Robinson in 2013, the year he died. Robinson, whose family has since started the Tyler Robinson Foundation to financially aid families whose children are being treated for cancer, was undergoing chemotherapy. “Tyler was a remarkable young man,” she said, glancing of a photo she keeps of him at the school. “He was one of those people who would be the first to give you a smile.”

Rasmussen, whose brother also died of cancer, is a proud, three-year member of the Huntsman Hometown Heroes, a group of running enthusiasts who parlay their races into fund-raisers for cancer research. In exchange for their donation-raising efforts, the institute guarantees spots in various races. Running is her way of giving back, she says. While she can’t treat patients as a physician, she says, “I am a runner.  So I can run – and I can make a difference.”

At the Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon, at which she qualified to run in the April 20 Boston Marathon, she says she started to feel a little sluggish in the 23rd mile.  At that moment, she said, the first notes of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” started to play in her headphones. “It was like Tyler was sending me his songs,” she says. To prepare for the upcoming races, she runs nearly every weekday, mostly for 5 to 6 miles, with much longer runs on the weekends. 

“I feel really proud to have gotten into Boston, and I’m excited to run it – but I am running for a purpose,” she said. “I like to think that I’m running with the angels.”

Click here to contribute to Rasmussen’s races.

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