"This was gonna be my first marathon and it was something I was looking forward to doing. Nothing was going to stop me," said Angela Alleyne, from Brooklyn.
She was training for the 2010 New York City marathon when she injured her left hip and got a surprising diagnosis.
"When they did the MRI literally in the middle, a doctor came in and said, 'Can we have permission to look at your right hip?'" she added.
Turns out she had a cancerous tumor called Sarcoma in her right hip.
"It felt as if my whole world was turned upside down," Angela said.
But she ran that marathon anyway and had the cancer surgery 8 days later.
"Running helped me see that there's nothing I really cannot do if I really put my mind to it," she said.
Angela was just featured on the cover of Runner's World Magazine as part of a new campaign called Outrunning Cancer, linking runners to cancer charities. According to a new survey by the magazine, 86% of runners race once a year for a cancer charity.
Last year alone they found that runners raised more than $650 million for cancer research.
And that connection between running and fighting cancer goes deeper. Many runners are cancer survivors.
And patients often say that fighting cancer is like running a marathon, you keep going when all you want to do is quit.
"It's keeping me really strong," said Noirin Lucas, a marathon runner from Manhattan.
She continued to race even after learning last year that her breast cancer had spread.
"It just sort of gave me a shock and a shake to say you have a lot of living left to do and there's a lot of fun things I want to do," she said.
For more information on the outrunning cancer campaign and cancer charities that are linked to running, go to www.crowdrise.com/runnersworld.