April 1 is early-bird registration for Earth Day half-marathon at Kenyon College

Staff report

Run a half-marathon across the green campus of Kenyon College and along the beautiful Kokosing River on April 17 in the 10th annual Earth Day Challenge.

Participants of all abilities are invited to walk, run or do a little of both for the half-marathon starting at 8 a.m. People can also choose to do a 4-mile race starting the same time. Both events wind through the historic Kenyon campus and tiny village of Gambier; the half-marathon participants go on to the well-maintained Kokosing Gap Trail and through the Brown Family Environmental Center before finishing at the Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC).

The two events lead into the Knox County Earth Day Festival at the KAC. This year’s festival is themed “Healthy Inside & Out” to focus on the benefits of staying active and spending time in nature.

“Your personal health and the health of the world are really connected,” said Heather Doherty, director of the Brown Family Environmental Center.

The early-bird registration deadline for the half-marathon and the 4-mile race is April 1. Contact Amanda Krampf, the director of the two events, for more information at [email protected]

Krampf, the head women’s volleyball coach at Kenyon, ran the half-marathon last year before being picked to organize the events this year.

“I really liked the course and how it went across campus and then down to the Gap Trail. The Gap Trail is just beautiful,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun because there are so many people on campus for the festival. It’s a great atmosphere for the runners.”

More than 400 people registered for last year’s races. In the past decade the Earth Day Challenge has become well-known to runners. The half-marathon course is USATF certified and will have aid stations every two miles and portable restrooms at several locations. First aid marshals will be on foot and on bike. Participants may use the showers in the KAC locker rooms after the events.

All runners can check how they did at the post-race party in the KAC immediately after the two events using a real-time results kiosk. Awards will be distributed on the spot. All finishers get an Earth Day Challenge mug for beverages at the post-race food table inside the KAC, and the top three male and female runners overall and the age group winners receive a running hat. All proceeds from the events go to outdoor fitness programs such as trail runs, cycling events and children’s programs.

The Earth Day Festival is hosted by the Brown Family Environmental Center, Knox County Health Department, Knox County Park District, Knox County Recycling & Litter Prevention and OSU Extension Knox County. This unique, free event will feature:

• Over 90 exhibitors and vendors

• Activities for children

• Live music by Goslee Reed and Kean

• Farm marketers and live farm animals

• Free health screenings

Staff report