Hero Half this weekend to honor GIs

The Second Annual Hero Half Marathon will take place this Saturday, May 24, starting and finishing at Community Chapel.

Last year volunteers raised $9,310 split between Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Home Front and the Keaton Coffey Memorial Scholarship.

The event includes a 1.3-mile trail fun run, fire truck, face painting, bouncy house, Umpqua ice cream truck, music, food, silent auction, military booths and memorials, which will be on the chapel grounds. Gold Star and Silver Star families will be honored.

Grant Coffey, the father of the Marine Keaton Coffey who was killed in action May 24, 2012 in Afghanistan, is one of the race directors. Marci Sullens of Sweet Home is also a key organizer. Her brother, LCPL Dale Peterson, was killed in action April 23, 2007 in Iraq.

The 8k and the half marathon will be professionally chip timed. Those races will start at the chapel at 8 a.m. and continue through town, crossing the Weddle covered bridge, and making their way up to Elm Street around Oak Heights School, where runners will run the South Hills Trail to Old Holley Road.

The 8k runners will continue across to Pine Top in the Canyon Creek neighborhood, while half marathon runners will head up Old Holley Road to Holley Church, then returning to Pine Top, where they will connect back to the finish of the 8k course.

From Pine Top the runners head out to 10th, then back to Elm St., left on Mountain View, and back to the Community Chapel on Ames Creek.

The half is challenging with elevation, and the 8k is relatively flat.

“If you aren’t a runner, and just want to honor these families and our heroes, come out and cheer and enjoy the festivities,” said Race Director Rachel Kittson-MaQatish.

Title sponsors are T2, Community Chapel, the Morley Thomas Law Firm, and KRKT. Last year LPD Thug Busters were the largest team, followed by White’s Electronics.

Competitors who have registered should arrive no later than 7:30 am. The runners will be exiting the chapel grounds onto Ames Creek shortly after 8 a.m.

Anyone who can’t be on the premises by 7:30 a.m. is asked to delay arrival until 8:30. The 1.3-mile trail run will be going on intermittently throughout the event.

“If you live along the course there should be a minor inconvenience and it would be appreciated if your dogs were kenneled, and that you did not park alongside the road,” Kittson-MaQatish said.

Road closures are not anticipated. Runners will be running against traffic for safety reasons.

Signs and race monitors will be present to caution drivers of runners on the road.

Drivers are asked to drive carefully and watch out for runners along the course starting at 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

For more information, contact Kittson-MaQatish at (541) 258-3194.