A Half-Ath Weekend


The highly anticipated 2015 Athens Half-Marathon, commonly known as the AthHalf, will take place this Sunday, October 25th.  This will be the 6th annual race and it has become a staple in the Athens community.  Runners train for months in order to prepare themselves properly for the 13.1 mile course.  According to Steve Faber and Nicole Vernon, it is certainly not something you can just roll out of bed and run.

“What I’ve learned is you’ve really got to work on your flexibility, ” Steve said.  “It’s not just about putting miles in or just running, it’s about doing lots of other things because running is great for your body but it’s only in one direction.”

“You make sure you really focus on your long runs, add a mile every week,” Nicole said.  “Aside from that do short, little track workouts for 40 minutes…to build up your endurance.”

First pres
First Presbyterian’s pre-race service, 2013.

While the race is certainly the main attraction this weekend, other events will take place that are not just open to the runners.  On Saturday, October 24th, the AthHalf will have a Health and Fitness Expo at the Classic Center from 12pm to 6pm.  The event is free and open to the public and will have health and fitness exhibits showing running and overall health, along with demonstrations of fitness merchandise and products.

In addition, there will also be a church service held at First Presbyterian Church downtown at 6:30am.  The church encourages
runners to attend the service in whatever clothes they plan to run in, including their athletic shorts and tennis shoes.  First Presbyterian Church also plans to even leave extra aisle space for runners in case they would like to stand and stretch during the service.

Runners and non-participating Athenians alike are looking forward to these events, and the race itself.  However, what the runners are most excited about is certainly the tail-end of the race where the runners run through Sanford Stadium, the University’s home football stadium.  This part of the race has become a favorite part of the race and is something that the runners use to help motivate themselves to finish.  Running around the hedges is symbolic to the runners, reminding them how hard they’ve worked to get to that point.


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