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Runners race for charity at Holy Half and 10K

| Sunday, March 30, 2014

20140329-2013-2014, Holy Half 2014, Kevin Song

On Saturday, 1,500 runners endured freezing temperatures and a short period of snowfall during the 10th-annual Notre Dame Holy Half Marathon and 10K.
Runners contributed to the efforts of local charities and achieved personal goals, in addition to participating in either the 13.1-mile or the 10-kilometer run, returning runner and sophomore Teri Dye said.
“Running the Holy Half is always an amazing experience because its a very unique opportunity to be able to run 13.1 miles on Notre Dame’s campus with friends who run with you and cheer you on through the finish line,” Dye said. “Every time it feels like such an awesome accomplishment.”
Junior Katie Wood, a member of the Holy Half Program Committee, said this year’s Holy Half saw a much higher level of interest than last year’s. The original capacity was 1,300 runners, but the student programmers made the decision to increase the capacity twice, to the final maximum of 1,500 runners.
According to the Holy Half Facebook page, funds raised by the marathon will go toward the Kelly Cares Foundation and Girls on the Run Michiana. Although the official numbers have not yet been calculated, Wood said the programmers anticipated raising about $30,000, which was last year’s result.
Since all of the proceeds go toward charities, finding and contacting potential sponsors to help underwrite costs was a crucial part of the planning process, Wood said.
Wood said planning for this year’s Holy Half began immediately after last year’s race. When scheduling the date, the committee met with University officials from the Student Activities Office (SAO), Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), Notre Dame Fire Department (NDFD) and RecSports to ensure that the Holy Half would not conflict with many other major campus events, she said.
Wood said one major obstacle for the committee was designing the course. Due to two NCAA women’s basketball tournament games, which were held Saturday at the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center, the course had to avoid potential conflicts with large crowds of people near the arena. Snow and ice on the ground also delayed the certification process, she said.
“Because the course changed due to the women’s basketball tournament, it was awkward at the beginning, running in the area around Douglas road,” Dye said.
This was also the first year runners received finisher’s medals. Wood said the committee’s decision to distribute medals was in response to numerous requests from runners over the past year.
“[The medal] was a nice surprise,” junior Amanda Leung said. “I got pretty excited about it when I saw the finished runners walking around with them.”
“The finisher’s medal is beyond a good idea,” Dye said. “Who doesn’t feel awesome by receiving a medal at the end?”
Wood said next year the committee hopes to finalize the course earlier.
“[That way we can] begin planning signage and volunteer placement to avoid any confusion for the runners,” Wood said.
Senior Carolyn Green, a member of the programming committee, said there’s a possibility of raising the registration fee for next year’s Holy Half.
“Our event is very inexpensive compared to other races offering a comparable experience,” Green said. “By just raising the entrance fee by $15, we will generate about $22,000 more and be able to make it an even greater event.”
Wood said it is not feasible to increase the capacity of participants for next year’s race.
“In communications with SAO, NDSP, NDFD and medical, 1,500 runners will be the absolute capacity,” Wood said. “Since this is a completely student-organized event, and the course is contained entirely on the Notre Dame campus, we do not have the capacity nor the resources to host a race for more than 1,500 runners.”
Registration might be limited, but running the Holy Half is a memorable experience that every Notre Dame student should consider, Leung said.
“I definitely think that this is something that everyone should have on their Notre Dame bucket list,” Leung said. “You never know what you’re capable of unless you try it.”

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About Wei Lin

Wei Lin currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. He served as the Photo Editor on the 2014-2015 Editorial Board. He is a senior Accountancy, Economics, and Chinese triple major living in Knott Hall. He hails from the borough of Queens in New York City.

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