Inaugural Bainbridge Half Marathon will be April 14

Published 9:33 am Friday, January 27, 2012

Special to The Post-Searchlight

The Memorial Hospital Foundation announced this week that the inaugural Bainbridge Half Marathon will be held on the second weekend of April in downtown Bainbridge.

There will be a Health and Fitness Expo held on Friday, April 13, and the Bainbridge Half Marathon will be held on Saturday, April 14, at 7 a.m. There will also be a “Kids’ Half Marathon” on Saturday, April 14, at 10 a.m., in conjunction with the main race.

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The money raised supports the Foundation’s mission to provide needed special equipment to Memorial Hospital. The Half Marathon’s course is designed to showcase some of Bainbridge’s classic neighborhoods, its beautiful oak-tree-lined streets, and other local points of interest.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to bring a top notch distance running event to Bainbridge,” said Andy Payne, race director. “Running, walking, and our Health and Fitness Expo will have many positive effects on the city. I would like to personally invite runners of all abilities, sponsors, volunteers, and spectators to participate in these events.

“We are looking forward to April, and are committed to growing the Bainbridge Half Marathon year after year and promoting healthy living in southwest Georgia.”

The Bainbridge Half Marathon will be electronically timed and USTAF-certified — two things that competitive runners are keenly interested in. In addition, participants will receive a finisher’s medal and a t-shirt.

There will also be a children’s event. The “Kids’ Half Marathon” is a program promoted to all of Decatur County’s elementary schools (K-4) whereby children are able to complete 12 miles before race day, and then run their last 1.1 mile on the race course and complete their race. There will be no official winners, but all children who complete the program will receive a finisher’s medal and t-shirt.

The Bainbridge Half Marathon will also feature a “Two-Person Relay” option. A team of two will each complete half of the distance and will be timed as a team. The Relay is for those who feel intimidated by the 13.1 mile distance of the full event, but who are still looking to feel a sense of accomplishment by training and completing a distance event. The race course will be open for four hours.

“We are trying to make this race as friendly and inviting as we can to participants of all abilities,” Payne said. “Runners and walkers will be equally welcome. We have also published a training program for beginners and will have organized group trainings every other Saturday leading up to race day.”

In order to make sure interested runners are able to register in advance, early registration is available now for $50 until Feb. 29. Regular registration will be available from March 1 through April 12, for a fee of $60. If the event has not reached its registration cap, there will be late registration available for $70, starting on April 13 and April 14. Registration for the “Kids’ Half Marathon is $10 and is open until Feb. 17.

Online registration is available through the Bainbridge Half Marathon website,, and through, a well-known running online registration site. More information, including the course and training information, will be posted when the full Bainbridge Half Marathon website is launched later this week.