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Free half marathon Saturday at J.F. Gregory
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If you’re an early riser and can deal with the last minute notice, this run might be for you.
A group of local ultra-marathon Runners (will join together with Georgia Game Changers Running Company to host a half-marathon at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at J.F. Gregory Park.
The 13.1 mile event is free, won’t be timed and is open to all in the community who are looking for a way to improve their fitness and reach their goals.
The idea arose from a setback that a local runner experienced at a recent half-marathon.
Sandra Elliott, owner of Georgia Game Changers Running Company, tripped and fell on a bridge during the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon on March 9,at the 9.3 mile mark.
Injuries to her face, hands, and knee prevented her from completing the race, and she instead had to be taken by ambulance from the race.
Emily Ernst, a Coast Guard Member and local ultra runner, felt badly for Elliott and volunteered to create a 13.1 run for all local runners who wanted to comeback from their setbacks.
Ernst joined forces with runners April Groves and Verity Gray to bring the run to the attention of other runners in the area.
According to Ernst, the local ultra runners decided to join together to support this run since each of them have experienced setbacks at some point in their training, and each of them knows how “ having a team of supporters can make all the difference in the world.”
Elliott is thrilled to have a second chance to complete her first half-marathon, and to be able to do it with local runners and supporters of her store.
“Wow!” she said. “I was so very touched by the response from the local runners when I fell at the race. The fact that the local runners would care enough to help me on this ‘comeback’ run means more than I can say.”
Elliott would love that more walkers and runners who have been working towards their fitness goals, but who have experienced some sort of ‘setback’ join her and the other runners on Saturday.
In order to complete the half-marathon, the plan is for runners and walkers to do 5 full laps around JF Gregory with the addition of some extra mileage to help runners reach 13.1 miles, according to Elliott. People can come out and do as many laps as they would like to help them reach their individual goals.
For more information, call 445-2163.

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