Young athletes in south Reno are training for something special. They are not just training for their health, bragging rights or a trophy, they’re working out for fellow children who would love to be in their shoes - instead of fighting cancer.

Carlos Hernandez owns Calavera Barbell in south Reno. He’s training a group of young people for a weightlifting competition to find a cure for childhood cancer. The event, which is started six years ago, is called Pulling for Our Little Heroes. "In the fitness industry, in weight lifting, CrossFit, I felt like I wanted to do something for child cancer." With the help of a bunch of gyms in town, the competition has become a multi-day event with weight-lifting, CrossFit and volleyball. "The main goal is just to raise as much money as we can for Northern Nevada Children's Cancer."

Along with these young athletes, dozens of adult CrossFit teams are also warming up for the competition which has become quite popular. "It doesn't surprise me. All these people are the same; they want to help out, they just want a means to do it." Each team is raising money online and the more money - the better placement they have in the competition - which is designed to be physically vigorous. At the end of the day, however, athletes know their pain and soreness will go away. "Some of these kids and their families affected by childhood cancer, they wake up the next day and that pain doesn't go away. So people can suffer a couple days of workouts,” he adds, “All for a good cause. It gets a little emotional; I'm not going to lie." Especially when the athletes are being cheered on by the very families for which they're fighting. “It takes it to a whole other level.”

Last year, Pulling for Our Little Heroes raised $50,000 for the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation. Since the event started in 2013, athletes have donated more than $135,000. This year’s competition continues Friday, September 7th and September 8th at the Sands Regency at 345 North Arlington Avenue under the big tent. There will be food vendors, a silent auction and t-shirt sales that will also benefit NNCCF. To learn more, click on