Volunteer “sherpas” play a major role in the success of the Cancer to 5K program, as they provide invaluable support, advice, pace leadership, and encouragement to our participating survivors. Register now to share your love of running in a meaningful & direct way with individuals that have been affected by cancer in your community!

What is a 'sherpa'?

Sherpas are volunteer runners of all paces who serve as support and pace leaders for survivor participants during group workouts and on race day. *Volunteer Sherpas under the age of 18 must have an adult guardian present.*

Do I have to be a cancer survivor to volunteer for Cancer to 5K?

Volunteer sherpas do not have to be cancer survivors in order to participate in the program. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals that want to share their love for running with others! Survivors that complete at least one season of the program have the opportunity to “graduate” to the sherpa level as well.

How fast do I have to run to be a sherpa?

We welcome sherpas of all fitness levels to volunteer with the program. However, a sherpa should be able to cover 3-4 miles and be capable of providing encouragement and guidance to survivor participants.

What is a typical workout like for a sherpa?

A typical team workout will last for approximately one hour. Coaches will match sherpas up with survivor participants to complete each workout & goal race together. Sherpas will run at the survivor’s pace and monitor their well-being, provide pace leadership, and safely encourage them to meet their goal of crossing the finish line.

What if I cannot attend every group workout?

We ask that Volunteer Sherpas try to make as many group workouts as possible. However, if you cannot attend a workout, please let the coaches know in advance so they can ensure they have enough Volunteer Sherpas to run with every survivor participant during that day’s workout.

What should I bring to a group workout?

Sherpas should bring a full water bottle and watch or smartphone to each practice.

Do I have to pay a fee or fundraise in order to volunteer with Cancer to 5K?

There is no fee or fundraising required to volunteer with the program. All Volunteer Sherpas will receive free Cancer to 5K training & race day gear. Volunteer Sherpas are required to cover their own registration fee for the 5K goal race.

Do I have to have a medical background to be a part of this program?

No! Volunteer Sherpas’ roles are to support survivors during the workouts & goal race. In the capacity in which they are volunteering, sherpas are not qualified to provide medical advice to survivor participants.

Do I have to plan the team workouts?

Volunteers Sherpas are not required to facilitate the training sessions. The team’s coaches will lead each group workout, and provide the survivor participants with supplemental workouts to complete on their own.

What if I do not live near a team workout location but still want to get involved?

Volunteer Sherpas can only participate in group training sessions if they live near a team workout location. However, interested coaches that are eager to get involved remotely can apply to become a Cance to 5K “At Home”/Online coach or you can apply to bring the program to your own community!

Please contact Amanda Kesler, Coordinator, Cancer to 5K, cancerto5k@ulmanfund.org or 410-964-0202 x120 if you have any questions!