It’s time to put on some gym shorts, stretch out the hamstrings and queue the workout music because the Lights of Life Half Marathon is a little more than a month away. Benefitting the Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, this is a race that’s on the road to better healthcare for everyone.
“This is our second annual half marathon and last year we had more than 175 people participate. Now we are expecting 250 to 300 people,” said Hopkins County Health Care Foundation Director Jackie Thornton. “We are already getting a lot of great responses from runners.”
The half marathon (13.1 miles) will begin Oct. 3, but sign-ups for the event are already available at RCTregister.com. If participants register before Sept. 11, they are guaranteed a limited edition T-shirt from the race. Individual entries are $75 per person, $80 for a two-person relay or $100 for a four-person team.
“For the four-person team, it ends up being like a 5K run,” said Thornton. “This is a certified course and is race chipped timed.”
On Friday, Oct. 2, the packet pick-up will be available for runners. In addition, Thornton is working with downtown restaurants to have special meal deals for athletes. At dusk, the Oscar-winning film “Forrest Gump” will be shown on the square. The foundation is hoping the movie will inspire participants to “Run, Forrest. Run” as fast as they can the next day.
Saturday morning, Coffee Off the Square and Plain & Fancy Sandwich Shoppe will be serving breakfast before the race begins at 7:30 a.m.
“This year, Holly Ragan is the Lights of Life Half Marathon chair and she is wonderful,” said Thornton. “Our goal is to continually grow this marathon every year. We actually had a Boston Marathon runner who participated last year and she is coming back again. She is going to be bringing some of her buddies with her.”
The half marathon is part of one of the several mini-event that Lights of Life has planned to raise $250,000 for the hospital.
After the goal is reached, the foundation will donate six Lucas CPR devices. These devices will provide the EMS staff the tools and abilities they need to improve survival rates during cardiac arrest. The Lucas CPR devices provide consistent and quality chest compressions without the need to stop compressions to perform other clinical procedures.
Major sponsors for the event include Christus Health and Carriage House Manor.