Runners will need to be in tip-top shape if they plan on participating in the Piney Hills Half Marathon on Feb. 10 because unlike most races, which are run on flat courses, Ruston’s race will be throwing in some “hilly” landscape to give runners an added challenge.
This Piney Hills Half Marathon will be Ruston’s first half marathon event, and is expected to attract as many as 250 runners in its first year. Doug Harvey, one of the event organizers, said he wanted to put together a marathon event in Ruston for a couple of reasons. Among those is the fact that North Louisiana has no marathon events in the first half of the year. He also wanted to offers runners something different from races hosted in other cities.
“We know people are running races this time of the year, but they are having to go to Dallas, New Orleans and Little Rock for those events, and we wanted to give them a local option as well as a half marathon that is different,” said Harvey. The difference in this half marathon is that it has embraced its landscape and will be known as a “hilly” half marathon. Not many races are willing to deviate from a primarily flat course.”
The Ruston Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau, a sponsor of the event, says the race has the potential to attract overnight visitors to Lincoln Parish.
“Running is a very popular sport for a lot of people, said CVB President/CEO Travis Napper. “We are thrilled to have this new event that will attract people to Ruston and Lincoln Parish. The event is generating tremendous buzz from the running community and the CVB is proud to be a supporter of this event.”
The races starts in downtown Ruston, heads north and then west through the residential area, before taking the service road to Tech Drive and then snaking through the Louisiana Tech campus before returning downtown.
The registration cost is $60 per person. Harvey said entries will be accepted all the way up until the day of the race or until the number of participates reaches 250.
“We definitely feel that an athlete should come here and challenge themselves and walk away with a sense of accomplishment of not only conquering a half marathon but a hilly one.” Harvey said. “Another reason to support this event is our partnership with 4 Paws Rescue. They are our charity partner of this event and we want to do our part to help their dreams of having a permanent shelter built come to reality.”
For more information about the Piney Hills Half Marathon, visit the website at www.pineyhillshalf.com.