WAYNE, N.J. —  (CBSNewYork) — For some New Jersey residents, “Born To Run” is more than just a Springsteen favorite.

The Born To Run 5K is a yearly event in Wayne, N.J., bringing together runners, walkers and volunteers for a cause close to the heart of one local family. This year’s race will take place Sunday at Packanack Lake.

Now in its third year, the event honors the memory of Wayne resident and Bruce Springsteen fan Bruce Eckrote, who died suddenly from esophageal cancer at the age of 55 – just five weeks after he was diagnosed with the disease – in the end of 2009.

Several months after his death, two of his four children, Dan and Marissa Eckrote, spearheaded an effort to create the Born to Run 5k. Their goals? To not only raise awareness of the disease, but to create a memorial to their father, raise money for cancer research and support the town they grew up in.

Funds raised by the race will not only benefit the organization’s annual scholarships and research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, but also a local boy facing his own hardship.

Mason Sneed, 6, is currently undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia after being diagnosed last October.

2011’s Born To Run race benefited the family of Steven Domalewski, the teenager from Wayne who was disabled in 2006 after being struck in the chest by a ball while pitching a youth baseball game.

To register for the race or donate to the Bruce Eckrote Memorial Fund, visit BornToRun5k.com.


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