Leave a Legacy races go virtual

Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID, but neither do the hardworking volunteers from the Leave a Legacy Foundation.


To protect the health and safety of cancer patients, participants, volunteers and the community during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation will not be having the annual Legacy 10K and Spirit 5K races in their traditional format.


Instead, the organization is encouraging participants to run on their own on Oct. 3, as part of a virtual race to honor or remember cancer patients and to help raise money for cancer fighting resources in western Kansas.


"While we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to gather in person for this year’s races, we’re excited to offer participants the opportunity to keep the spirit of the event alive by running on their own in honor or memory of a loved one or friend who has battled cancer," Paige Kraus, Leave a Legacy Foundation Board Member, said. "COVID-19 may have put a damper on our original plans, but it hasn’t changed our commitment to raising awareness and funds to help in the fight against cancer across western Kansas."


Those who want to participate virtually can register online at www.whodoyourunfor.org. Runners can pick up their runner bag on either Sept. 29 or Oct. 1, then run any time and any place on Oct. 3 to mark the event. Registration costs $28.50, and the deadline to enter is Sept. 25.


Runners are welcome to upload their times with their pictures to the event page on Facebook, @Leave a Legacy Foundation Virtual 5K Walk/Run. Registered participants can pick up their runner bags through a drive-through service from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 in the parking lot of Heartland Cancer Center, 410 E. Spruce St. in Garden City.


Runner bags include a race T-shirt, runner bib and a "dog tag" prize. Participants, as well as anyone who would like to give to Leave a Legacy, also can shop at its online store at www.whodoyourunfor.org. Some of the merchandise includes hooded sweatshirts, long-sleeved T-shirts, hats and winking heart masks. Donations also can be made online to one of Leave a Legacy’s four funds: Greatest Needs, Fill the Fridge, Laura’s Touches and our Endowed Fund.


The Greatest Needs fund was established to financially assist cancer patients with such things as gas cards, meal vouchers or help with medical expenses at Heartland Cancer Center. Money from the Fill the Fridge fund allows Leave a Legacy volunteers to purchase snacks and water for patients, their families and friends to have while either waiting for their treatments or during treatments.


Laura’s Touches has allowed the Foundation to provide gas cards for over 500 cancer patients undergoing chemo or radiation treatment.The Leave a Legacy Foundation was created March 16, 2007, to honor the life of Laura Kleysteuber and to strengthen the cancer fighting resources in western Kansas. Laura died at the age of 30, after a six-year battle with brain cancer. She walked through it all with beauty and grace and always with a wink and smile on her face.The 2019 Legacy 10K and Spirit 5K had more than 1,000 registered participants and raised over $30,000 to further the Leave a Legacy mission.


To participate in the event, go to www.whodoyourunfor.org to sign up.