Northern Hills CASA race Saturday

Runners set their paces at last year’s Spearfish Canyon Half Marathon race. This year’s event is set to begin at 7 a.m. Saturday. Pioneer file photo

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SPEARFISH — The 33rd annual Spearfish Canyon Half Marathon and Heroes 5-Kilometer Run/Walk will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday.

This event benefits the Northern Hills CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) organization, which raises funds for abused and neglected children in need of legal protection and advocacy.

Northern Hills CASA Development Coordinator Renae Servaty said 301 runners had registered for the half marathon as of Wednesday morning. She added 145 had signed up for the 5-K race. 

The 13.1-mile half marathon begins at Savoy, which is inside Spearfish Canyon. Run/walk events start and end at Spearfish City Park.

Race-day registration for the half marathon is scheduled for 5:30-6 a.m. at Spearfish City Park. Cost is $75.

Those wishing to register Saturday for the run-walk may do so from 5:30-6:35 a.m. at the park. Cost is $40 for an individual or $100 for a four-person team.

Children aged 11 and under may register for the run-walk but must participate with a registered adult.

Representation for this year’s race will feature at least 27 states and two Canadian provinces, Servaty said. She added many local runners also participate.

Runners in the 5-K may form a team to compete for Superhero awards. They include the Super Speedy award (fastest team based on top three finishers), Team Spirit award (best team shirt/costume), and Super Team award (team with the most participants).

Five water stops are along the half-marathon route. The fourth, located about 2.7 miles from the Winterville Road sign, is designated as the art stop.

“At the stop, runners can make their mark as they are passing,” Servaty said.

“They are given a paint brush with some paint on it, and they can make whatever mark they want on this canvas.”

Servaty said this year’s canvas will be displayed at Spearfish’s CASA office. 

The Spearfish Canyon Half Marathon website contains a link to a site featuring artwork from previous years. That art may be placed on tank tops, mouse pads, leggings, and other items.

Servaty was asked what contributes to the event’s success.

“It is a major fundraiser for our program,” Servaty said. “It’s the support of the community volunteers that are willing to come support the event.” 

She added that support includes working at the water stops or cheering on the runners.

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