Runners all over Abilene are lacing up their shoes for the inaugural Abilene Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday morning.
The event offers three different race events: a marathon, a half marathon and a four-person relay. The events start at 7:30 a.m. and have already reached the maximum number of participants. The races will begin and end at the Taylor County Expo Center.
“We actually had to shut off registration about three weeks early this year because we filled up so quickly,” said Bob Taillon, president of the Abilene Runner’s Club.
Taillon said the Runner’s Club will donate all the proceeds from the races to the Children’s Miracle Network and Hendrick Children’s Hospital. The last marathon in Abilene was eight years ago, and Taillon said he is glad his club is bringing the event back to Abilene.
“There was a lot of interest in our club,” Taillon said. “It’s always nice to have a race locally because you don’t have to worry about finding a hotel, and you can get to know the course.”
The Abilene Runner’s Club has formed a good relationship with the race sponsors and plans to hold the race for at least the next five years, thanks to the strong support is has from those sponsors.
Colin Barnard, senior political science major from Abilene and a seasoned marathon runner, is looking forward to completing another race. Barnard said he is drawn to the marathon for its tradition and history, as well as its lengthy distance.
“That distance is where, if your muscles are ready for it, they’re ready for it – but when you get to 20 miles, you know, it’s all head,” Barnard said. “My mind is ready for it. I just hope my body is.”