By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
CLINTON — Lace up those running shoes because the third annual Clinton Half Marathon is right around the corner.
Running enthusiasts from around the country will gather at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at Ashford University Field in Clinton to take part in the half marathon and get a glimpse of what Clinton has to offer.
"(The race) is an opportunity for the city of Clinton to show people from out of town what Clinton is all about," Race Director Dr. Brian Peck said. "It's a good showcase for the city."
The majority of race participants will come from outside the city of Clinton and already there are racers from 11 different states registered for the event.
Runners will have the option to participate in one of three races that will be held on Sunday, covering three different courses through the streets of Clinton.
All three will begin at Ashford University Field, but will split somewhere in the middle for the final portion of the race.
Runners participating in the 13.1-mile half marathon will traverse a scenic course from Clinton's riverfront through the city, extending all the way to Eagle Point Park before returning back to Ashford University Field.
The 10K, 6.2-mile run, will follow the same route as the half marathon, but instead of continuing north to Eagle Point Park, it will split off at 16th Avenue North and head back south to Ashford University Field.
The 5K will offer participants the opportunity to run or walk a flat, simple course from Ashford Field to 19th Avenue North and back. The 5K is designed to incorporate everyone in the community to take part in the event, not just fitness enthusiasts.
"Anybody can do the 5k Walk/Run. We put that in there just so people who are not ready to run the longer distances can participate in the event," Peck said.
The whole point of the event, according to Peck, has been to provide residents in Clinton who like to practice a lifestyle of fitness an opportunity to have a substantial race in their hometown.
"We have the B-rrry Scurry and some other 5Ks in the area, but we wanted to bring something with a little more magnitude into the city," Peck said.
So far, the two prior half marathons have garnered a decent amount of attention from racers, averaging around 400 participants each year. But, Peck and the race committee believe this year will be the biggest event yet.
Already, the race has more people registered than last year at this time and it is expected that more will sign up as the deadline draws closer.
"A lot of people sign up the day of the race. They like to wait and see what the weather will do before they (commit)," Peck said. "We will accept entries up until a half hour from start time, so I'm sure we will have more people sign up."
Peck and his team are ready for the event to unfold and are excited for another great year for the Clinton Half Marathon.
"We're ready; we're fired up," Peck said. "There is a vibrancy that is very uplifting and contagious with (the race) and it's that energy that we like to promote."