By Alison Kanaby
The Inaugural Hendersonville Half Marathon is Saturday, September 17, 2016, and while our town has hosted 5K/10K/15K’s, there has never before been this type of race. What an exciting event for all of Hendersonville, not just runners. Of course, as a runner I cannot contain my excitement!
Since I started running, I have had to learn to juggle running along with my busy life. I am a local family practice physician, wife, and mom of three amazing children who are involved in multiple sports. I work in the office three days a week and have learned that “finding the time” isn’t something that ever works. I now “make the time.”
I have been running for the past four and a half years, and it has turned from just exercise to something that I am passionate about and dedicated to. I started out being able to run less than a mile, now I am running multiple marathons in a year. I find running to be more about finding myself, stress relief, being with friends and my own type of therapy, rather than just exercise alone.
I run four days a week and over the past six months I have even hired a running coach to build my endurance, my speed and to help me achieve my goals. Running on my weekdays off or while the children are in school allows me to get in speed work and a recovery run. If I have all three children at practice at the same time, I will run the Drakes Creek Greenway and conquer my training miles that way.
For my long runs, I have been running at 5am. I manage to get my run done by the time sports activities have started for the day, so I haven’t missed anything. My Saturday morning runs are what give me my energy and invigorate me for the day. It’s not a normal weekend for me anymore if I don’t get that run in!
I meet up with the Hendersonville Running Club for my weekend runs – running with friends will always make a long run a more enjoyable experience. And I will use the Hendersonville Half Marathon to test my fitness level for a marathon that I’m running in October.
The race begins and ends at The Streets of Indian Lake and is a certified course that tours around the east side of Hendersonville. The half marathon course couldn’t be more beautiful, with rolling hills, farmland, deer and cows – It’s an alluring scene that all runners will enjoy. And with a four-hour time limit, runners of all paces are encouraged to participate. Even walkers will enjoy the race. This is a time for communities to come out and support the racers.
This race is raising money for Mary’s Magical Place, which is a playground in Veteran’s Park that children with special needs will be able to enjoy. It is being built in memory of Mary McAuley, who had cerebral palsy and passed away last year.
Mary was very special to me and I have run with her as part of Run for Me, a program that pairs runners with children that have disabilities. Even though she passed away last year, she flies next to me while I am training, giving me strength when I need it.
Everyone can partake in this inaugural event, whether you’re a runner, volunteering at a water station, or even lining the streets ringing cowbells and cheering on the participants! Come join me at the Hendersonville Half Marathon! Anyone can run – you just have to try!