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Multi-Marathoner Cuts His Mane To Fight Cancer

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RENO, Nev. (CBS13) – Charlie Johnston feels like a weight has been lifted after his hair’s last run. Most people run to stay in shape — perhaps for their heart health. But today, Charlie Johnston ran for his hair.

“It’s not common to see runners with long hair, especially a guy. It’s out there so it draws a lot of attention,” said Charlie.

Those curls are part of Charlie Johnston’s trademark look as he races cross the country. His hair makes heads turn, and apparently, his friends are jealous.

Still, Charlie is willing to say “so long.” But first he wants to take his mane on its last run. Meteorologist Laura Skirde and I joined Charlie’s hair and its supporters on a 10k run in Reno.

It was a tough one for me but, for Charlie, this was literally a walk in the park. He’s got quite a big race in over a week. He’s doing the Boston Marathon.

Charlie isn’t your typical runner; he’s a multi-marathon man about to run lucky number 33.

“When he told me he’s a runner, I was like, “you’re a crazy person,” said Charlie’s friend Becca Donato.

He won’t deny that, but every step is for a cause close to his heart.

“My mother had breast caner when I was just a kid – 10-years-old. And my sister was diagnosed two weeks ago with breast cancer,” said Charlie.

He runs for the American Cancer Society and for the ladies he clearly loves so much. They haven’t missed a single race. They’re ladies who are always in his corner.

“Now I’m in my sister’s corner,” said Charlie.

Piece by piece his head full of hair is long gone. About a pound of it will go a long way to make wigs for cancer patients.

“Oh, I’m so proud of him. He’s been running with that really long hair for over a year now and hopefully his speed will increase a little,” said Charlie’s mother Marilyn Johnston.

Not many people can run like Charlie does, but for him it’s more than a sport he loves, it’s a fight for his family; a fight he’s willing to take to the finish.

“Running a marathon is immensely easier than fighting cancer,” said Charlie.

He plans to dedicate his upcoming Boston Marathon run to his mom and sister and aims to run the entire 26.2 miles in two hours and 42 minutes!

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