There never has been a half- marathon in Marion County — at least not in recent memory.
That was one of the reasons Bethany Carlson, one of the organizers and a member of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) of Marion, wanted to have a half- marathon as a fund-raiser.
The half-marathon, 13.1 miles, will be Aug. 8, beginning at Marion County Lake.
“It’s a pretty long distance and takes some planning,” Carlson said. “That’s why we chose the county lake.”
Runners will follow a course from the lake via back roads to Marion. Then they will run through part of the town, returning to the lake by less-traveled roads, and run through some coves before they cross the finish line.
For those who do not think they complete a dozen or so mile- course, there is a half-marathon relay where each member of a two-member team will run 6½ miles.
There also is a two-mile fun run.
“We encourage mothers to push strollers and walk,” Carlson said.
Wanting this to be more than just a fund-raiser, the group wants mothers of young children, grandparents, siblings, and others to participate and support those who are participating, much like MOPS does.
Newly formed in Marion in 2008, the organization is for mothers of children ages birth through 5. The Marion chapter has 25 to 33 mothers who attended meetings and participated in activities.
The purpose of the organization is to provide support from one mother of a young child to another, provide educational opportunities with speakers and presentations, and provide fun time with their children.
There are two meetings per month in evenings and Saturdays to include working mothers.
An annual membership is charged but is paid to the national organization.
“We don’t have additional charges to our local members,” Carlson said, which is why this fund-raiser is so important.
“We want to continue to provide activities and information without charging our mothers.”
Members of the organization and MOPS are active in the community — sponsoring a Relay for Life team and visiting nursing homes.
“We would rather our fund-raisers serve the community rather than just doing bake sales or selling other items,” Carlson said.
About the run
“Run for your Momma” will begin at 7 a.m. Aug. 8 at the lake, and is for all ages.
Early registration is until July 15. Race day registration accepted, but does not guarantee a T-shirt.
Early registration fees range from $12 to $32, depending on event. On the day of the races, fees will be $5 extra. A small post-race breakfast will be provided.
Prizes from local business include bike helmets, meals, and car seats. All children who participate will receive prizes.
For more information, go to email@example.com.