As many as 300 runners are expected to participate in this year’s Scotland Memorial Foundation “FUNd Run-4-Life” which starts this morning at the Community Health and Rehabilitation Center at the Scotland Memorial Campus.
The event, in its eighth year, includes three different races beginning with a half marathon at 8 a.m., followed by a 5k run/walk at 8:05 a.m. and a 1-mile “fun” run/walk beginning at 9 a.m.
The run will benefit the Diabetes Education Fund and the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Fund, both local causes.
“This event is popular, we have been told, because it is very organized, with a fun atmosphere,” said Scotland Memorial Foundation Development Coordinator Renee Collins.
“There will be a wide range of runners, from those there for the competition to those there just to have fun and support the cause,” said Collins.
Competitive runners enjoy the event, according to Collins, because, in addition to being a very scenic track, the route includes “a lot of straightaways.”
“The competitive runners like that because it can allow them to record good times,” said Collins.
In addition to the 300 expected runners, another 100 will be participating in the event as volunteers, manning water stations and keeping runners on course.
Scotland Memorial’s Karen Gainey credits the event’s popularity to the fact that the two causes are local.
“People choose to come back year after year, in part, because the money stays local,” said Gainey.
The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Fund assists those who are unable to afford rehabilitation on their own, and the Diabetes Education Fund uses its resources to educate locals about the dangers of diabetes.
“We are raising money to help those who aren’t able to help themselves,” said Gainey of the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Fund.
The Diabetes Education Fund supports — in addition to other awareness efforts — the foundation’s annual “Diabetes Health Fair,” which was last held in September of 2011.
“In our community diabetes is a very big disease, and raising awareness is important,” said Collins.
Would-be participants are invited to register from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. before the start of the first race.
This year’s course, described as “very scenic” by Collins, will take runners through the St. Andrews University area and Scotia Village, then down Hasty Road.
For those with children, there will also be a “Kids Zone” featuring a trackless train, a bounce house, face painting and games at the event location (adult supervision required).
Sign up costs are $45 for the half marathon ($15 for students), $20 for the 5k ($10 for students) and $5 for the 1-mile run/walk.