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Runners conquer 13.1 miles in Holy Half

Aubrey Butts | Monday, March 25, 2013

Whether they were running to meet a personal goal, return to top physical condition, benefit local charities or spurred by other motivation, this year’s 1,300 Holy Half participants ensured the event’s continued success and recognition as a valued Notre Dame tradition.

Low temperatures on Saturday posed the possibility of having to cancel the ninth-annual event, but by race time, runners received the go ahead from safety crews monitoring the event.

Junior Connor Reider, running in his first Holy Half, commented favorably on the weather conditions at the start of the race.

“When we started the race, the weather was beautiful. Once we were done, though, we were quickly reminded it was only 30 degrees outside,” Reider said. “The freezing wind combined with being soaked and not running around made a long warm shower even more appealing.”

After volunteering for the event last year, Reider said he immediately added the event to his Notre Dame bucket list. While maintaining motivation often arose as a challenge throughout the training process and on race day, Reider said he held no regrets with his race experience.

“I am definitely glad that I ran it and proud of my efforts. All my goals were met,” Reider said. “Plus, not everyone can say they have run a half-marathon.”

Months of planning gave student programmers the assurance of successful race day operations. Junior Maria Murphy, lead programmer for the Holy Half, expressed complete satisfaction with the event.

“The 2013 Holy Half was fantastic,” she said. “We had no major injuries, decent weather, lots of compliments on the course and overall experience, and a bunch of great volunteers who helped make the race a success. The race exceeded all of my expectations.”

The official fundraising numbers have yet to be calculated, but Murphy estimated the event raised $35,000 for the Women’s Care Center and the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph’s County.

Senior Ashley Markowski, director of the Student Union Board (SUB), echoed Murphy’s enthusiasm for the success of the event on race day.

While responsibilities for Holy Half operations have shifted between groups during previous years, Markowski said SUB assumed command of programming and running the half marathon this year and into the future.

“By placing the Holy Half under SUB, it gives it a permanent home under one organization,” she said. “This will hopefully make it more successful in future years as we will be able to make changes each year, based on the previous year’s experience.”

Comments from community members and initial fundraising numbers for Saturday’s event certainly point towards future success for the Holy Half under its new leadership,” Murphy said.

“In its nine years, the Holy Half Marathon has become a great Notre Dame tradition. I think the race has grown so much since its start because of the challenge the race itself presents to runners and the community-focused nature of the event,” Murphy said. “Runners can challenge themselves physically and, at the same time, help those in their community. The race is about so much more than running.”