The third annual Lourdes Paducah Iron Mom Half Marathon is this Saturday, May 11, with a start time of 6:30 a.m. The co-ed event starts and finishes along the floodwall near Schultz Park. To date, more than 860 runners from 14 states are registered to participate, an increase as compared to previous years. The deadline to register is noon on Wednesday, May 8.
City of Paducah Human Resources Director Cindy Medford, Rehab Associates, Lourdes Hospital, and Family Service Society are organizing the annual running event which involves a half marathon (13.1 miles) for individuals and for two-person and four-person relay teams. Lourdes Hospital is the title sponsor for the race.
Medford says, “This is such a great community event. It takes the whole community coming together in cooperation, support, and ultimately in celebration of all of these runners who have worked so hard in their training efforts. From the relay runner who just completed their first couch to 5K effort, to the experienced marathoner who loves our race because of the gorgeous route, they all need and our encouragement and our eyes and ears looking out for their safety. As race organizers, we are so excited to see the event continue to grow.”
Drivers need to be prepared for delays especially on Park Avenue as traffic will be temporarily stopped to allow runners to safely cross. The runners cross Park Avenue at County Park Road and again at North 26th Street. Also expect delays on North 3rd and North 4th Streets as runners end the race heading toward the riverfront on Madison and must cross those intersections before finishing. There also will be a brief delay at those intersections at the beginning of the race.
The race route takes runners along Jefferson Street, through several neighborhoods in Paducah’s West End, through Stuart Nelson Park, the Greenway Trail, and Bob Noble Park, around Lang Park in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood, beside galleries in LowerTown, and along Madison Street to the finish.
Public Information Officer Pam Spencer says, “Many of the runners are not from Paducah. I urge people to come outside and show them Paducah’s hospitality.” Spencer adds, “Runners receive so much energy from the cheering crowds and the families sitting in their yards waving.”
Volunteers and the coordinated help from several agencies including the Paducah Police and Fire Departments, McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, Kentucky State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, VIPS, DES, and Civil Air Patrol will be at the various intersections along the route to assist traffic and to keep the runners safe.
All proceeds from the Lourdes Paducah Iron Mom will go to Family Service Society, Inc. Founded in 1927, Family Service Society, Inc. provides immediate emergency relief to residents of Paducah and McCracken County. The Lourdes Paducah Iron Mom raised $20,000 for the organization in 2011 and $25,000 in 2012.