More than 200 people have signed up to run in Saturday’s Seymour Half-Marathon.
In its seventh year, the event continues to bring people to the community and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.
The 13.1-mile race begins and ends near Seymour High School and takes participants through downtown Seymour, residential areas behind the high school and on a scenic route past Chateau de Pique Winery.
Katrina Ketcham-Hardwick of Seymour said even though she decided to sign up at the last minute, she will be there bright and early, ready to run.
“This will be my fourth one,” she said. “It’s the first and only half-marathon I’ve ever done.”
Before she started training for it, she had not run more than 3 miles at a time, she said.
“For me, it’s just about pushing myself. It’s not about getting a fast time. I will run as much of it as I can, but if I need to stop and walk fast, then I do that,” she said. “I personally do not put any pressure on myself to achieve a particular time. I just want to have the experience.”
Although many people are intimidated by running long distances, Ketcham-Hardwick said they make her feel “accomplished and energized” when she finishes.
It can also be emotional for her, she added.
“I have many moments throughout when I have my music on and I’m looking around at the scenery that I have an almost spiritual moment,” she said. “I’ve been known to shed a few tears.”
Those looking for a shorter course or slower pace can sign up for the third annual FLASH Jackson County 5K Run/Walk or the 1-mile Dog Walk. Both events raise money for the FLASH Jackson County low-cost spay and neuter program, which is run through K9 Campers in Seymour.
Ketcham-Hardwick said another reason she likes participating in the event is because it’s in her community.
“I’m familiar with all of the places I pass by, and I like supporting the local cause,” she said.
She also likes to be a positive role model to other women, showing them that size doesn’t matter when it comes to being active.
“By society’s standards, I am considered plus-size, so for me, I like to prove to myself that regardless of my size, I am capable of working hard and crossing the finish line,” she said. “I really feel like if I can do it, anyone can.”
Registration for the event will start at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at Seymour High School’s Bulleit Stadium along Community Drive.
Start times are 7:30 a.m. for the half-marathon, 8 a.m. for the 5K run and walk and 8:30 a.m. for the dog walk. Members of the Seymour MultiSport Club will serve as pacers for the event.
Costs are $70 for the half-marathon, $30 for the 5K and $25 for the dog walk.
All half-marathon and 5K finishers will receive a medal, while dogs finishing the dog walk will receive a prize.
Participants are invited to bring items to be donated to Red Sky Rescue dog shelter near Medora.
Tara Overbay-Johnson of Seymour has only missed one race in six years, and that was due to an injury, she said.
“The first Seymour Mini-Marathon was my first mini-marathon ever, and it sparked a fire in me for fitness that’s burned ever since,” she said. “It’s a testament to how an idea becomes reality in a small town.
“I like how the event has always had a focus on improving the community, is locally facilitated and really brings out the best in the runners of Jackson and surrounding counties,” she added.
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What: Seventh annual Seymour Half-Marathon
Where: 13.1-mile course starts at Seymour High School
When: 7:30 a.m. Saturday
What: Third annual FLASH Jackson County 5K Run/Walk
When: 8 a.m. Saturday
What: 1-mile Dog Walk
When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday