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Island 5K to find a cure underway: Virtual event continues through Sunday

Organizers of this week’s 21st Annual Shelter Island 5K want people to know that if they haven’t registered, they still can up to midnight on Sunday, Oct. 25, and complete their filing by Monday.

This year’s event, unlike those in the previous 20 years, had to be scheduled virtually, instead of inviting runners and walkers to the Island. But organizers felt it’s important to be able to raise money in the ongoing effort to find a cure for breast cancer and other women’s cancers.

The event benefits the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, The Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and Lucia’s Angels — a nonprofit that helps women and families on Eastern Long Island with late-stage women’s cancers.

Besides registering at events.elitefeats.com/shelterfall20, many of those registered to date have opted to purchase raffle tickets as well, according to Julie O’Neill Bliss, who is among the race organizers with long-time Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro.

In the past, prizes for the raffle were often gift baskets, but this year, winners will receive gift cards for stores and restaurants, Ms. O’Neill Bliss said.

Participants don’t have to enter any formal races but can opt to use a treadmill and track their times at www.mapmyrun.com/ ; use a Certified USATF course; run in a park with measured fitness trails; or download the free app Strava.

Following a walk or run, pictures and times need to be submitted to elitefeats.com/results.

While some may have what Ms. O’Neill Bliss calls “virtual fatigue” — a desire to be able to participate in activities in person — this year’s virtual event affords an opportunity for those who may live at a distance and been unable to participate in previous races to “pay it forward” by registering for the Shelter Island event.

She notified upstate family members who are cancer survivors to register for this event knowing it was a cause near and dear to them.

Linda Zavatto, who has held the record for fundraising by an individual, is this year working to exceed the record of $9,000, Ms. O’Neill Bliss said.

Past sponsors of the event have enlisted again this year and provided both contributions and in-kind services to offset costs of the 5K, Ms. O’Neill Bliss said.

Not able or interested in a 5K walk or run? You can still contribute on the race website to the effort to end cancer, Ms. O’Neill Bliss said.