By Daniel Cernero, Sentinel Sports Editor
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GEORGETOWN – The Running 4 Your Life race series concluded Saturday with a half marathon along the San Gabriel River.
The series, run by the husband-and-wife team of Patrick and Paula Walsh, started with a 5K in Harker Heights in January and also included a 10K and a 10-miler.
Paula, who started the series after talking with people she had met while doing CrossFit at Harvey Physical Fitness Center, described the races as being laid-back and a chance to come run without any of the fan-fare.
“It sure beats having to drive down to San Antonio or Austin the day before to pick up a packet,” she said.
“This is pretty barebones,” Patrick added. “It’s just a chance to get out and run.”
The variety of distances also provides appeal for runners of any experience, Paula said.
The scenic 13.1-mile run started at the North San Gabriel River Trail Head and traveled more than five miles to Overlook Park, located next to the dam of Lake Georgetown. After returning to San Gabriel Park, the runners completed a loop for the remaining distance.
Patrick, an experienced runner, helped provide course support during the race.
“Going to do races is something we like to do for recreation and fun,” he said. “To be able to do this and just kind of be the worker bee is a nice break.”
One runner, Stephanie Herrera, was attempting her first ever run of such distance.
“I’m nervous,” she said before the race. “I’m not fast, so I just want to be able to finish it – finish it without stopping. That’s my goal.
“I wasn’t out here for the 10-miler, so this is kind of scary,” she added, saying that the furthest she’d run is seven miles.
At all of the runs, Paula sets out a bucket for donations, recommending a $1 donation, with the money going to a local Soldier.
“Wish For Our Heroes is the website – they’re part of the Combined Federal Campaign – and they’re actually supporting a Solider on Fort Hood, Staff Sgt. (Joseph) Knotts, so we just put the money there.”
According to the Wish For Our Heroes website, Knotts’ 3-year-old daughter is in need of bone marrow transplant.
“We didn’t really feel like we needed to know him,” Paula said, “because he’s a fellow Soldier, and because he and his wife are part of our bigger Army Family.”
Including the $75 raised Saturday, the series has raised nearly $300 for the Knotts Family.