Rain couldn’t stop the Lace Up for Leukemia 5K, which took place Sunday morning under gray, sprinkling skies.
Race participants came out to the Pioneer Park Wilderness Gazebo to raise funds supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a national nonprofit that supports research in curing blood cancers. Of the 82 people who finished the race, the top three finishers were Matthew Beanifer, Chloe Conlon and Tommy Dahill.
“Once you become aware of an organization and you make it known that you’re running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, you wouldn’t believe the number of people locally who have been impacted by leukemia and lymphoma directly, or any of the other number of cancers out there,” said Lael Oldmixon, who participated in the day’s event.
Oldmixon is part of the Team In Training group that sponsored the race. Team In Training is a local chapter of the fundraising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, according to Oldmixon, and this year the team has about 35 individuals who train for this 5k as well as other races in Alaska.
Oldmixon said she runs for a friend of hers who passed away while they were still in high school.
“She was 19 when she passed away, and every year I find out somebody new who I personally know who has leukemia or lymphoma,” Oldmixon said.
Now, this year, she is running for the relative of a colleague in addition to her friend. Some people come to the race with a story, she said, but some people come to run and the charitable organization gives them motivation to do so.
“Most of our team members are participating in the fundraising program called Trained to Cure,” Oldmixon said. The fundraising minimum for the program is $750, but “most people aim to raise much more than that.”
Their next race will be the Run Lulu Run in August. The team can be found on Facebook if interested parties want to sign up to help raise funds.
Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7572.