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Holy Half Marathon, 10K races return after two-year hiatus

| Wednesday, April 6, 2022

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Notre Dame’s annual Holy Half Marathon and 10K races return Saturday for the 16th year. 

Assistant race director Katie Harmeyer, a senior who got involved in organizing the Holy Half after running the 10K her freshman year, said she estimates 1,580 people — both community members and tri-campus students — are signed up to run one of the student-organized races. Both races begin at the Stepan Center where the first wave of runners will cross the starting line at 9 a.m. The second and third waves will start at 9:05 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. respectively. 

The route goes all over campus,” race director Grace Scheidler said. “It starts out at Stephan and then heads toward the lakes. Then you … go around both of the lakes at different points, and you go through a bunch of the quads.” 

Participants running the 13.1-mile half marathon will complete two loops of the course while those in the 6.2-mile 10K race will complete one loop before crossing the finish line outside the Stepan Center. Scheidler said all finishers will receive a medal, and the winners earn a voucher from the Fleet Feet Mishawaka running store and a special medal at the 11:15 a.m. awards ceremony.

The bulk of the proceeds from race registration fees will be donated to the Holy Half’s three charity partners — the Our Lady of the Road homeless shelter in South Bend, Girls on the Run Michiana and the Misericordia Home in Chicago, an assisted living home for people with developmental disabilities.

Scheidler, who has been involved in planning the races since her freshman year and ran the half marathon her senior year of high school and freshman year of college, said organizing the Holy Half has been a complex process involving many different groups.

“We have off-campus vendors for the bib timing and porta-potties and all the tables for the four water stations,” she said. “[We also] work with the NDPD and Notre Dame Fire Department coordinating all the different people who have to close the on-campus roads. It’s a lot of moving parts.”

Because the Holy Half last took place in 2019 when the current senior class were freshmen, Scheidler said she felt extra pressure to make sure she “brought back the tradition” for students unfamiliar with it. A resident assistant (RA) in Walsh Hall, she said she has enjoyed discussing training plans with her residents running the race.

“I know it’s a big undertaking for somebody to train for something like this,” she said. “So to help facilitate people through that big personal journey is really cool.”

Meredith Meyer, a junior and member of the Notre Dame Running Club, said she is excited to run the half marathon and experience the race day atmosphere. Meyer has finished two half marathons and one marathon and hopes to run a personal best Saturday. 

“I am most excited for the campus community aspect of the race because a lot of people I know will be either racing or cheering which makes for a much more exciting and fun running environment,” she said. “Usually at races, I only know the people on my team or the people I go with, so it will be cool to have people from all across campus supporting each other.”

Harmeyer said she encourages students and faculty to come out and watch the race and cheer on the runners.

“I’m most excited for friends of mine … who are running the race,” she said. “It’s going to be such a fun morning.”

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About Claire Reid

Claire Reid is an associate news editor at the Observer for the 2022 - 2023 term. She is a junior from Madison, Wisconsin in the Journalism, Ethics and Democracy program.

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