Volunteers keep the pace


A group of runners hoisted signs on their shoulders with times written on them in marker at the start line of Saturday’s seventh annual Seymour Half-Marathon.

The Seymour MultiSport Club members had volunteered to serve as pacers for the event.

“If you have a specific goal time, you try to keep up with a pacer holding a sign for that time. The pacer will finish exactly at the time they are holding,” said Greg Reasoner, a member of the group.

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Though he had used pacers during other events, this was the first time Reasoner had tried being a pacer himself.

“Running while holding the sign took some getting used to,” he said.

The first step to being a pacer was being able to run the event yourself, preferably at a faster time than the pace you would be serving as a pacer for, Reasoner said. That allowed the runner to easily stay at the pace they were setting for runners.

The 13.1-mile half-marathon was the first run of the day, followed by the 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk and then a 1-mile dog walk that left from the high school.

The latter two events served as fundraisers for FLASH Jackson County, a low-cost animal spay and neuter program.

“We asked ourselves, ‘How do we keep more animals out of shelters?’ and FLASH was the answer,” said Jeff Niewedde, race director for the event.

Registration cost $70 for the half-marathon, $30 for the 5K and $25 for the dog walk. However, those who registered online for the first several months only had to pay about half of those fees — $30, $15, and $10, respectively.

“We like to say it’s a small-town race with a big-town feel and small-town heart,” Niewedde said.

This year’s race used the newest chip-tracking technology for times, and all half-marathon finishers received medals.

After the half-marathon started, runners, walkers and even some dogs lined up on the start line to begin the 5K run/walk and 1-mile dog walk.

Among them was Tracey Owens of Seymour and her friend’s dog, Mattie.

Owens said this wasn’t the first run/walk for her or the dog. Owens competes with the Corn Fed Spartans street race and obstacle course run group.

“I love being able to have a dog with me while I go,” she said. “It’s just great to see people get out, and it’s great that the dogs can get out and socialize, too.”

Niewedde said he plans on continuing the event in the future, hopefully growing it.

“We want to grow it to where it becomes maybe the largest run in the community,” he said.

Discounted registration for next year’s run will begin soon, he added.

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Joseph Bell was the overall winner of the seventh annual Seymour Half-Marathon, finishing in 1 hour, 23 minutes, 4.74 seconds. There were 126 people who finished the race.

With the FLASH Jackson County 5K Run/Walk, Jessica Sinclair won in 20 minutes, 27.64 seconds. That race had 63 finishers.

For information about the races or to see full results, visit seymourhalf.com.


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