Prairie Fire Marathon honors Andover runner struck by lightning

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) It's been two weeks since Kansas runner Thomas Stanley died while competing in a race at the Elk City State Park.

(Submitted by Stanley family)

On Sunday morning, hundreds of runners gathered at the annual Prairie Fire Marathon in downtown Wichita to honor Thomas' life.

From bibs to a round of applause before the race for Thomas, to warm embraces on a cold morning. Ashley Stanley says she can't thank the community enough.

"I really wish he was here. I wish I could've seen his head in this sea of people today," Ashley said. "I just want to say thank you to everyone for all the support we've received. It's been insane how much support we've received, it blows my mind. I think Thomas would've just been deeply moved and humbled to see how much people are taking care of his family."

Even friends who have never ran a race before, showed up for Thomas.

"I don't really run but I run for Thomas. I just felt like it was the right thing to do," said Jake Ramstak, friend.

Thomas was suppose to run in the marathon on Sunday, but instead his wife ran for him.

"To me running today is like a no brainer. I love running and I love doing races and challenging myself and to be able to honor Thomas and challenge myself at the same time- there is no way I couldn't be out here," said Ashley. "I just wish that he was here to see it, that's the only thing that makes today hard."

A GoFundMe page has been setup to help Ashley and her children in this difficult time.