Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate Teams up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training Program 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Named “Champion Charity” for 2020 Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate, honoring Race Director and Lymphoma Survivor Daphne Kirkwood 

When Asheville Marathon race director, Daphne Kirkwood selected the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood cancer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as the event’s charity partner in 2013, she had no idea that just a few years later she too would be affected by the disease and fighting for her life. Today, Kirkwood is in remission and announced LLS as the “Official Champion Charity” at the 8th annual event to take place March 21-22, 2020 at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. LLS’s iconic sports training program, Team In Training, will be bringing a nationwide team to participate in the race. 

In June 2018, Kirkwood, an active runner, swimmer and cyclist who considered herself to be in “great shape,” went to the emergency room after experiencing unbearable pain in her lower back. After undergoing preliminary blood work, she was sent to the hospital for additional testing. Just a few hours later, she learned she had follicular lymphoma, a deadly blood cancer that usually builds up in the lymph nodes but can start in other parts of the body. She immediately began an intense chemotherapy regimen that continued for the next six months.  

“While I was going through treatment, it was difficult for me to stay still. Physically, my body was tired, but mentally I was ready to go to war,” said Kirkwood. 

She didn’t stop running and cycling throughout all of her treatments. Some runs turned into walks, and sometimes she could barely turn the bike pedals, but she kept up her routine and stayed as active as she could during that time.

“Going through cancer I have realized it is the longest endurance event I will ever participate in,” she says.

Now in remission since January 2019, Kirkwood is determined to personally fund cancer cures by joining LLS’s Team In Training program herself and forming “Team AMA” with her friends, family and race ambassadors. With her newfound perspective on the important research The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds, she felt compelled to invite LLS back to the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate to raise awareness and fundraise for cures.

“When I received my lymphoma diagnosis I knew that it would be very important for me to learn all that I can about my cancer and then support the organization that is dedicating its research dollars to finding a cure,” said Kirkwood. “It is VERY important to me, now for my own personal reasons, that we find cures!” 

That invitation, of course, was accepted. 

“LLS holds high value to the race partners that welcome Team In Training into their events, but this one connects at a deeply personal level,” said Amy Moore, National Director of Team In Training. “When Daphne reached out to share the shocking news of her diagnosis and asked us to partner with her again, it was an easy ‘yes’. Our first priority was ensuring Daphne had the support and information she needed as she began treatment and sharing LLS’s resources with her. We are thankful her treatments to date have worked and she is cancer free today, and it has been a joy to plan what will be a special race weekend to celebrate Daphne and the LLS mission in a big way at the Asheville Marathon.” 

About Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate 

The Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate is held on and run entirely on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, where runners will wind through paved and packed dirt roads to see hardwood forest, meadows, gardens, and extraordinary views of the Biltmore House and Estate. This is the original Asheville Marathon and first race of its kind to come to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; don’t miss out on being part of history at Biltmore Estate.

For more information about the Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate, visit Follow the race on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

How you can help raise money for a great cause

Click here to learn more about becoming a fundraiser for the 2020 event. 

Click here to visit Daphne’s personal TNT  fundraising page. 

Learn more about Daphne and iDaph Events & Timing

Daphne is the owner of iDaph Events & Timing, which is based in Asheville, NC. To learn more about the iDaph team and their other events, visit their website at

Read our blog about her journey with lymphoma. 

Link to YouTube Video about Daphne’s journey with lymphoma:

About Team In Training 

Team In Training is the world’s largest and most successful endurance sports fundraising and training program that raises funds through the delivery of a transformative experience that inspires and supports “teammates” through camaraderie, coaching, fundraising support and personal discovery.