Runners from all over are pushing their limits in preparing for the second annual Morgan Valley Marathon. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, July 28.
For years Morgan friends and running partners Tara Low and Liz Donaldson talked about how Morgan is such a beautiful place to run. Low dreamed of sharing our hometown streets with other runners. As they added more running friends to their group the dream grew into reality. Talk of hosting a marathon became plans for a marathon last year when the Morgan County Fair was celebrating 100 years. One of the runners, Kim Turner, was an integral part of the fair board and was exploring ideas to commemorate the anniversary. It seemed the time had come to organize and hold the first marathon in Morgan.
The first requirement to hold the marathon was to create a business. Kim Turner, Heidi Eriksson, Wanda Adams, Janet Pace, Tara Low and Liz Donaldson created the company “Find It Together.” They each made investments into the company and dedicated themselves to seeing the event through. When they began the venture they thought it would be all about the running, but soon found there is a lot more that goes into the actual preparations than they first realized. Luckily they had a diverse set of skills in their group that worked well together. They all share the talent of enthusiasm and the ability to make things fun.
“We wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle in the community,” Donaldson explained of their collective goal. “It is so fun to see people run.” They agree they love to see people out there running to be healthy. They love it even more when they hear they are training for the Morgan Valley Marathon.
Endurance will be tested through the three different races beginning and ending at Morgan’s iconic Fairgrounds. They will hold a full marathon, a half marathon, and a 5K. They have training tips on their website.
Morgan residents can receive a discount on registration before June 15. For the full marathon use promo code MORGAN to receive $15 off registration. For the 5K enter MORGAN5K to receive a $10 discount. Families can sign up under 5K for $60 for a group of four, with each additional 5K runner $15 more.
Each participant they will receive a technical racing shirt and medal. Full and half marathoners will receive a swag bag of goodies. The 100th person to cross the finish line wins $100.
The 2012 theme is Do More…Be More…Run Morgan. As part of this theme they want to give more. They have chosen three different families to give aid to through a portion of all registration fees. They will be helping the Cloninger family who recently lost father/husband John in a fight against cancer. They will also help Charese Foster who is currently battling the serious illness. Both of these families have become well known and loved in Morgan. The third person they have chosen is a darling 6 year old boy outside of our valley who is currently in need of a kidney transplant. Help Beckam, Charese, and the Cloningers and those they love through running. For those who are not running but would like to contribute visit their website and donate online or bring your donation to race day.
While this year they are putting a big emphasis on giving back they have given since the beginning. “It’s never been about the money,” Tara explained. When they had extra money they decided they could help others with it. Last year they donated $1000 to the splash pad for the Morgan City Park. They gave a $500 scholarship to graduating senior, Jake Anderson. They donated $600 to the Hershey’s track and field event for the Elementary School. They look for opportunities to give more to our community.
Holcim is continually doing good things for Morgan and they have joined with the Morgan Valley Marathon for the second time becoming their title sponsor. “We couldn’t do it without our sponsors,” Liz said gratefully of Holcim as well as the many other sponsors.
Volunteers are also very necessary to the success of a marathon. “We love people along the route cheering. Or if it’s a hot day to turn their sprinklers on for the runners.” Liz said. There is also the opportunity to host an aid station. Table, jugs of water and Powerade, etc will be provided. Then families, groups and organizations can get creative. Music, costumes and cheers are some of the tactics that have been used. The best aid station will win $200. There are many ways people can get involved.
Tara Low challenges,”Come experience all the fun and excitement of the Morgan Valley Marathon! Crossing the finish line is just the beginning….”
The Morgan Valley Marathon website is www.morganvalleymarathon.com.