More than 1,500 runners from across the Midwest will dash by Lawrence landmarks Sunday morning.
"This is going to really showcase our hometown," said Toby Eastland, a Lawrence resident who plans to participate in the first Lawrence Half-Marathon & 5K.
The event could cause a few traffic delays beginning at 8 a.m. as racers dash from Coffin Sports Complex at Haskell Indian Nations University through eastern Lawrence, along Massachusetts Street, through Kansas University's campus and return to Haskell Stadium.
The two races will benefit Health Care Access of Douglas County, a charitable clinic that provides medical care to the uninsured. Organizers hope to raise $30,000 for the clinic.
"We're getting the word out. It's going to be a great race I think. Everything's shaping up really well," said Steve Riley, co-director of the event.
Riley and his wife, Marcia, organized the event and mapped out a half-marathon course that includes city landmarks such as Haskell Indian Nations University, the former homes of Langston Hughes, William Burroughs, John Haskell and John Speer, downtown, Old West Lawrence and KU.
The event will require help from the city and Lawrence Police Department.
"We had to get 400 cones alone. The course setup is really extensive," Marcia Riley said.
Eastland, a pharmaceutical representative for Sanofi-Aventis, said he became interested in running his first half-marathon - a 13.1-mile race - after he learned proceeds would benefit Health Care Access.
"With the whole living and working in the community, the need became real visible to me," he said.
For the past decade, the event was known as the Raintree Run and raised money for Raintree Montessori School. But the school's owners, Keith and Lleanna McReynolds, said they would be unable to host the race because their grandson, Gibson Huston, a Raintree student, had brain surgery. Funds raised through Sunday's one-mile Fun Run and Walk will help pay for the surgery.
The race begins at 8 a.m. Sunday at the Coffin Sports Complex at Haskell. Prizes will be awarded.
Despite the new name and location, Eastland thinks the event will be successful.
"Obviously, it's going to continue to build momentum," he said.
Half-marathon & 5K
There's still time to register for the event. Runners can register today online at www.lawrencehalfmarathon.com or from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Coffin Sports Complex. Participants also can register on the day of the race until 7:30 a.m.Cost: half-marathon, $32 and $35 on race day; 5K, $22 and $25 on race day; one-mile walk and run, $12.