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Racing to register

Runners who want to be first to the finish can now be one of the first to register for the second annual Viola Valley Half Marathon.
Registration began Dec. 1 for the race to be held May 18. The early bird registration fee is $40 and the event is open to both runners and walkers.
“We gave away $1,400 to charity and we feel like that was really good for a first-year event,” said race treasurer Keri Nunley. “We’re hoping to double that with our second race.”
Approximately 350 runners competed in the first Viola Valley Half Marathon. The rural course that spans three counties will remain unchanged.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our surveys,” said Nunley. “They loved the scenery and the views on the course.”
Nunley also said many runners enjoyed participating in a smaller half marathon where they weren’t packed shoulder to shoulder with other runners. Because of the desire to keep the small-time charm, Nunley said the total number of participants will be capped at 650.
“We want all of the local runners to know about the registration first because we don’t want anyone here to miss out on the opportunity if they are interested,” said Nunley.
Among the $1,400 in charity donations was $1,000 given to Viola Valley Dogs, a no-kill animal shelter.
One change this year will be an earlier start time that’s been moved up to 7 a.m. The 13.1-mile course will be kept open for four hours in hopes that will give everyone a chance to finish. The four-hour window equates to a pace of 18 minutes and 19 seconds per mile.
The race starts and finishes on Court Square in Viola. It travels through Warren, Grundy and Coffee counties. In addition to Nunley, other race officers are director John Nunley, assistant director Kevin Deason, secretary Molly Mann, and sergeant at arms Shane Hollis.
For more information, visit There is a link on that website to register.

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