The Woodward News

June 7, 2013

Half marathon race day nears

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — You'd better pick up some speed if you want to participate in Woodward's Lion Heart Half Marathon race.

The 13.1 mile race is just over a week away, but race organizer Doug Ross said there is still time to sign up for the event.

"They can actually register right up until race day or even on race day itself," Ross said.

The half marathon will be held on Saturday, June 15, starting at 7:30 a.m., and will take runners from the start line at 9th St. and Santa Fe Ave. north to the Highway 34C junction out to Boiling Springs State Park and back to start again.

A 5K race will also be held in conjunction with the half-marathon, starting at 8 a.m. and taking runners from 9th St. and Santa Fe Ave. north to the Highway 34C junction and back again.

To sign up for either race in advance, you may register online at earlysignup.com/lionheart.  If you prefer to sign up on race day, registration will be open at 6 a.m. in the Pioneer Room.

There is an entry fee for both races, with proceeds going to benefit the local charitable activities of the Woodward Lions Club.

Ross, who is secretary/treasurer of the Woodward Lions Club, said the race was created "to be a fundraiser for the club, which donates money for local scholarships, provides eyeglass assistance for needy Woodward citizens, and donates to the United Fund and the Woodward County Toy Giveaway, just to name a few of the charitable things we do."

Ross said the Lions Club is pleased with the amount of interest the Lion Heart races have garnered.

"We have about 96 people signed up for both races so far, with about 60 in the 5K and the other 36 in the half marathon," he said.

There are even quite a few runners coming from across the state and even from other states to participate in the race, Ross said.

"To name a few, we have 4 from Ashland, Kan.; one from Meade, Kan.; 1 from Liberal; 2 from Guymon; 4 from Edmond; 3 from McKinney, Texas; and a couple from the Bartlesville and Skiatook area which is all the way over by the Tulsa area," Ross said.

He noted there is even one 17-year-old kid from California who has signed up for the 5K race, but "I assume he's going to be in the area visiting grandparents or something and not just coming all the way out here for the race."

All in all, though, Ross said, "we have been pleased that we drew in some people from other areas.  That was our goal, to not only get Woodward people involved but to bring in people from outside in to see Woodward, generate some tourism."

He is hopeful that participation in the race will continue to grow as race day approaches.

"I really think that we'll end up probably with at least 120 to 130 participants (in both races)," he said, noting "with races you do get quite a few late entries and it's common to get a lot of entries on race day itself."

Ross said a race management company has been hired to help with the organization of the half marathon and will be tracking the times on the race for official records.

"It's chip timing, which means there's a computer chip that you tie to your shoe to record your time," he said.

After the race, refreshments will be offered in the Pioneer Room and awards ceremonies will be held to present medals to the top finishers overall as well as to the winners in each age category.  The 5K awards ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on June 15 and the half marathon awards will be presented starting at 10:30 a.m.

All racers will also receive a race T-shirt and "all the half marathon finishers will receive a finisher's medal," Ross said.