The memory of the late Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter and BridgeMill resident, will be honored in a new way later this summer with the inaugural SagerStrong Foundation Stadium Fun Run.
The 3K run (1.86 miles) will be held Aug. 25. It will start in the lower-level concourse of SunTrust Park before continuing to the upper levels.
Participants will also have the chance to have their picture taken at home plate and will pay homage to one of Sager’s original loves.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but Craig’s first love was baseball,” said Stacy Sager, Craig Sager’s widow and president of the SagerStrong Foundation. “When he was 10 years old, his hero was Ernie Banks. He wanted to be him on the field, but he also wanted to be Ernie Banks the man. That’s when he adopted the optimism of life. He told himself at 10 years old, that was how he was going to live his life. I wanted to honor Craig and change it up a little bit from our golf tournaments we do every year. He really loved baseball.”
The SagerStrong Foundation partnered with the Atlanta Braves, SunTrust Park and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to add a new event to the list of ways in which the foundation has worked to fund cancer research.
The foundation has also helped create the SagerStrong award, the SagerStrong Shootout and the Living Out Loud SagerStrong Golf Tournament. Sager’s trademark colorful jackets have also been auctioned off to raise money as part of a promise Stacy Sager made to her husband before his death from leukemia in 2016.
“It was originally built through love and support for Craig from people all over the country who just wanted to help,” she said. “He was such an inspiration to cancer patients and people all over the world. He was so inspiring through his battle for 2½ years with leukemia. People wanted to know how they could help. He just made me promise to do whatever we could in our power to keep other families from having to go through what we did.”
In addition to the funds raised, Stacy Sager said the foundation could not have become what it is today without the support of the local community, where the Sagers have lived for more than 16 years.
“BridgeMill adopted us. I could not have personally survived as a caregiver without our community and friends,” Stacy Sager said. “The local businesses for our golf tournaments -- everyone just comes together. When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it’s isolating and lonely. I am so grateful for everyone in BridgeMill and Cherokee County for what they’ve done for us.”
Sager hopes to make the run an annual tradition, in addition to the other events hosted by the foundation.
The fun run is open to runners of all ages and includes tickets to the Braves' game against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 21.
To enter the race, visit https://sagerstrongfoundation.org/sagerstrong-foundation-stadium-fun-run.