Runners from all 50 states and 25 different countries registered for the 2017 St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Marathon with the goal of crossing the finish line, and those who registered all decided to run for different reasons.
The annual race has raised money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, helping children with cancer, a disease that has impacted almost everyone.
"It's so rewarding to know that you are directly affecting people that are fighting a battle that is so close to my heart, and I know how hard it is," Fabi Powell, who registered for the weekend's 5k race, said.
Powell's husband, Josh, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and through it all, he stayed positive.
"Josh was super active, he was a West Point graduate and went to Ranger school after that, stationed at Fort Campbell. He was going to change the world," Powell explained, but in December, he passed away just months after the two were married.
Powell struggled with the loss of her best friend, but found comfort in reading Josh's journal, filled with hope and encouragement, and even goals.
In one entry, Josh set a goal to train and run the Rock 'n' Roll 5k, then, to beat cancer.
"Unfortunately he wasn't able to complete any of those goals, so I thought, what a neat thing if I were to take that on myself and complete those things for him," Powell said. "The next day, I signed up as a St. Jude Hero, and I started spreading awareness about St. Jude and kind of our story and the background story of why I was doing this."
When race weekend arrived, Powell found herself surrounded by people who have the same goal as her: remember and honor those you love, while supporting others who need it.
"Just the feeling of everybody racing for a cause is so special. It's so much different than just going on a run by yourself," Powell explained. "The energy's going to be pretty incredible."
Powell set a goal to raise $1,500 for St. Jude, but more than doubled her goal prior to race day.
If you'd like to donate to Powell's fundraising efforts, you can visit her fundraising page.