After moving virtual in 2021, the Neuf Memorial Run returns to an in-person event to the campus of Bethel College on Jan. 8 2022. The 9K and 2-mile walk/run honors the memory of Russ Neufeld, a long-time Kansas resident who passed away on Jan. 21, 2017 after an 18-month fight with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This will be the fifth and final Neuf Memorial Run.
The event raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Russ Neufeld Memorial Scholarship at Hesston College. Over the first four years of the Neuf Memorial Run, the race has raised over $50,000 from race proceeds and donations.
Staging will take place at Memorial Hall on the campus of Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., and the race will start at 10 a.m. outside of Mojo’s Coffee Shop (300 E. 27th St.). The Neuf early entry fee ends at midnight on Dec. 8 and is $45 for the 9K and $35 for the 2 mile. The entry fee increases to $50/$40 on Dec. 9, and online registration closes at midnight on Jan. 6. On site registration will be available on race day for $50/$40.
All registered runners receive a timing bib from Timer Guys, a commemorative Neuf pint glass and post-race festivities from Crust and Crumb which include coffee, hot chocolate and a croissant. Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers for the 9K and 2-mile races. Race day registration closes 15 minutes before the race.
In addition, the Neuf 90k Virtual Challenge returns to encourage increased physical activity during the holiday season. The challenge is to run/walk 90K (or more) between December 9, 2021, and January 8, 2022. The virtual challenge includes entry into either the 9k or 2-mile run along with a commemorative running jacket for an entry fee of $90 until Dec. 8.
Prizes will also be awarded for the virtual and in-person best-costume participants in the following nine categories: best costume, most creative place to run, most creative time to run, best beard (real or otherwise), best kilt, best display of Neuf branding, bravest running outfit, best “spread the love” message, best family/group themed costume.
The race celebrates community as Neufeld described in his final Facebook post: “Take all this love you have and share it,” he wrote. “It only multiplies and there are so many who could use it…just spread the love folks – it’s the only thing in this world that endures.”
The January run and the 9K distance are as unique as Neufeld. A transplanted Canadian, Neufeld relished the cold weather, and Neuf – “nine” in French – was a nickname for Neufeld. His car’s stick shift handle was a 9-ball.
Visit runtheneuf.neuf.ca for more information and to register for the run. Run the Neuf!