Jason and Tammi Carr took the stage prior to Saturday’s RunTough for ChadTough race to talk about the event, the ChadTough cause, and their little boy.

This year’s race is the first without Chad, who passed away after a 14-month battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma on November 23, 2015. More than 1,300 participants were on site for the race, contributing to more than $80,000 in donations.

“We want to thank you guys so much for being here today,” said Tammi. “It’s inspiring to look around and see all of you here and know there are people in every state in this country running with us this morning. It’s what gets us through every day knowing that you guys are all helping us to make a difference, so thank you very much for that.”

Help from Cooper

The past two years, it was Chad’s job to pull the horn on the fire truck to signal the start of the race.

“(The was) the hardest part about this race for me,” said Jason. “We had all this planning and we were thinking, ‘Okay, who’s going to pull this horn?’ (It was) just an emotional thing.”

Jason said they put a list together, but none of them felt right. Finally, someone asked aloud what Chad would want. Immediately, Jason and Tammi knew the right answer.

“Chad would say, ‘I want Cooper to do it!’ It was his best friend (who) lived across the street,” he said. “Immediately it just felt right and we knew it had to be Cooper.

“So I just want to say it’s something that was going to be a hard thing for me to watch, but because it’s Cooper it’s something I’m looking forward to today. So I want to thank Cooper for that.”

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