The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Big turnout expected for Historic Half race
BY JEFF BRANSCOME
Almost 7,500 runners have signed up for the fifth annual Marine Corps Historic Half marathon on May 20 in Fredericksburg.
That’s a little more than last year’s total registration of 7,439, but about 500 spots are still available, said Tami Faram, a spokeswoman for the Historic Half.
The 13.1-mile race includes entrants from Washington, D.C., and 47 states, in addition to runners from nine other countries.
People may also sign up for the Semper Fred 5K and the Historic Half relay race, in which duos run 6 miles each. Almost 800 have registered for the 5K and another 240 for the relay.
“The Historic Half has really become one of the outstanding half-marathon races in the commonwealth,” Faram said.
The Historic Half will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a post-race concert by Marine and professional singer Mike Corrado and appearances from stars of the popular television show “The Biggest Loser.”
Minutes before the race, runners will witness a flyover from two vintage planes from the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton and the firing of a Marine Corps howitzer.
“I think the fifth-year anniversary has really gotten people excited,” Faram said.
Alison Sweeney, host of “The Biggest Loser,” will fire the starting pistol and then run the half marathon.
Lauren Lee and her mother, Gail Lee, contestants on this year’s season of the show, will run the half marathon and the Semper Fred 5K, respectively. The women, from Maryland, will also appear at a pre-race ceremony at 3:30 p.m. May 18 in front of the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center.
Jordan Baird, a contestant on “American Idol” and “The X Factor,” will sing the national anthem at the pre-race ceremony.
Faram called “The Biggest Loser” stars a good fit for the race. The show features obese contestants attempting to lose weight through diet and exercise.
“It really is part of our Marine Corps mission to promote physical fitness,” Faram said.
The Healthy Lifestyle Expo, where runners receive their race packets, will be open at the Expo Center from 4 to 8 p.m. May 18 and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 19.
Jack Morrison, president of the Fredericksburg Area Running Club, called the Historic Half a win–win for the region.
“The local community has always been very positive about running and very pro running, but this has raised that profile of running” even more, he said. “It’s great for everybody.”
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402