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When Kenny Capps took the stage at White Horse Black Mountain on May 31, he saw something he hadn’t seen in nearly two months — a sea of familiar faces.

Friends, family members and neighbors rose to their feet as the Black Mountain man came out to tell the story of his cross-state run a week after completing it.

Black Mountain singer-songwriter David LaMotte opened the evening with a performance of his song "Water," calling it fitting after a deluge of rain in the area over several days. 

"I'm proud to say that Kenny is a good friend of mine, and I'm honored to be here to celebrate him and the work he's been doing," LaMotte said. "He just finished this incredible journey 1,175 miles across the straight, and he did that to catch our attention."

Writer and storyteller Barbie Angell emceed the event and told the story of why Capps decided to do the run. "I'm not crying, you're crying," she told the crowd while reading the emotional story of Capps' need to keep moving forward after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma - a blood cancer that impacts bones - in 2015. 

Capps began the run on the Outer Banks April 1 and averaged 22 miles each day during the 54-day journey. He finished the run May 24 at Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He recounted his trip in front of a slideshow featuring photos from the road. 

"I wanted to show people with multiple myeloma that it helps to keep moving forward," he said. "It doesn't mean you need to go out and run 20-30 miles a day. It just means you should stay active."

Capps was inducted into the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Hall of Fame for his efforts. 

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