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About the Lobo Cancer Challenge

UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center facility at sunset

The University of New Mexico
Comprehensive Cancer Center

This community fundraiser, held annually in September, helps ensure access to world-class patient care and treatments based on the most advanced cancer research at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.

100% of the funds raised by our participants, called “Challengers,” go directly to the program they choose that means the most to them in the fight against cancer. Each of these programs is critical to the Cancer Center’s ability to bring the best cancer care to New Mexicans:

  • Gas, food and lodging for patients who come from outside the greater Albuquerque area for cancer treatment;
  • Pilot programs to scientifically test new ideas for cancer prevention, screening diagnosis, and treatment, especially for those cancers that affect New Mexicans the most;
  • Community events to bring awareness and information about cancer prevention and screening to all parts of New Mexico; and
  • Training and education programs for students at all levels, from high school through postdoctoral fellowships and junior faculty.

Our sponsors make this possible by generously defraying the costs of managing the Challenge,  which includes route safety and support and medical emergency care. Together with our in-kind sponsors, who contribute amenities and services for the event, all of our sponsors provide an excellent experience for our Challenger community.

Fundraising results are found on the Impact page (with year-by-year details in its drop-down menu). The drop-down menu of the Media contact page showcases video and slideshows for the annual Lobo Cancer Challenge events.

Why do we use the term “Challengers?” The participants accomplish their own Challenge and also challenge cancer together in our efforts. A community is formed in common purpose of honor, remembrance, empowerment, mutual support and celebration.

The 2023 Lobo Cancer Challenge broke all the records!

1,374 Challengers — more than ever — in 107 teams — more than ever — joined 75 sponsors to raise a record-breaking $549,458.75 to #UniteAgainstCancer in New Mexico! This is thanks to the support of our donors and volunteers, and everyone came together for a day of honor and celebration. A fun new event was added so that children ages 1-10 could be Challengers too! Everyone enjoyed the excitement of their guided 1K Run / Walk around the field at University Stadium. Virtual Challengers joined the effort even if they could not be at University Stadium in Albuquerque.

In 2022, the Lobo Cancer Challenge returned in person to University Stadium, home of the UNM Lobos! The 5K Run/Walk and 25-, 50- and 100-mile Bike Routes were joined by a new Stadium Stair Challenge, for an exciting event day at University Stadium! A Virtual Challenger option was also offered for participation and fundraising from any location. 851 Challengers in 78 teams celebrated together to #UniteAgainstCancer, with the support of 200 Volunteers and 76 Sponsors.

In 2021, the Lobo Cancer Challenge was again held as a virtual event to meet the challenge of a global pandemic, and once again, 329 Challengers from 16 states more than rose to the occasion.

In 2020, the Lobo Cancer Challenge was held as a virtual event to meet the challenge of a global pandemic. 523 Challengers — more than ever — brought a spirit of fun to their Challenges. They climbed mountains; met in safe conditions to ride or walk with families, friends and colleagues; sold crafts and got creative! Challengers met in 61 teams from 20 states around the country! In the words of the T-shirt worn by the Rule family, “we did it for those we love.”

In 2019, 480 Challengers came together on the day of the event, held at University Stadium, home of the UNM Lobos, to ride a bike 25, 50 or 100 miles, or run or walk in the 5K as their Challenge.

In 2018, key numbers more than doubled from the first year: 350 Challengers participated in 41 teams. The first 5K Run/Walk offered a new pursuit for Challengers!

Ever since the first Lobo Cancer Challenge in 2017 with 168 bike riders in routes that started and finished at University Stadium, the Challenge has grown in scope, participation and results.

More than 370 volunteers gave generously of their time and energy over the first three years to make the annual events a success.

We appreciate this community! This is an amazing and caring group that comes together each year to take up the Challenge and unite against cancer.

#UniteAgainstCancer #LoboCancerChallenge


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