Whether you’re a runner, walker, volunteer or spectator, there’s plenty of reasons to get involved in the 9th Annual Mercy Health Paducah Iron Mom Half Marathon and Relay. The race kicks off on Saturday, May 11, 2019 in downtown Paducah, KY.
Here are the top five reasons to participate in the Mercy Health Paducah Iron Mom.
1) You’re celebrating the moms in your life on Mother’s Day Weekend.
The Mercy Health Paducah Iron Mom Half Marathon and Relay is a Mother’s Day Weekend tradition in Paducah, Kentucky. Every Saturday before Mother’s Day for the past eight years, you’ll see nearly 1,000 runners scattered throughout the city of Paducah participating in this race. Many are running to honor their own mothers, daughters, or the women in their lives. It’s always emotional to stand at the finish line and see many mother-daughter combinations finish the race together.
“I run Iron Mom for my daughter,” says Jennifer Braboy, Mercy Health Human Resources. “I love the feeling when we get to the finish line and I see my daughter who jumps to my side to run across the finish line with me. It’s amazing just seeing her excitement and how proud she is. I like to be active and hope that I can inspire my daughter to stay active throughout her life.”
2) It’s a great way to stay active.
It’s no secret that staying active is key to a healthy lifestyle. Among other health benefits, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage chronic conditions, and strengthens your heart. It’s also a great way to improve your mental health and a great way to form relationships and socialize with friends.
“My advice to other runners would be find a running buddy to train and run the race with,” says Jennifer. “It makes the long miles so much more bearable, plus you have the constant support to keep you going on race day.”
The race is not limited to those who can run a whole 13.1 miles. There are also relay options if you can run or walk a 5K or 10K. Get with your friends and form a 2-person or 4-person relay team to participate. Many relay teams come up with unique team names and coordinating outfits to make it more fun! Walking is also an option for either part of the race – as long as you can keep up with an 18-minute mile pace.
3) It’s for a good cause.
Proceeds go to Family Service Society, the second oldest non-profit in the city of Paducah. Family Service Society provides assistance to residents of Paducah and McCracken County by assisting with basic needs such as food, clothing, prescription medications, emergency dental, utility assistance, personal hygiene items, household goods and Christmas food assistance.
“We are thrilled with the record amount of money raised by Iron Mom each year,” says Candace Melloy, Family Service Society Executive Director. “Every dollar raised directly affects a family in need in our community. Summer is the hardest time of the year for families because their children are out of school, therefore the pressure on the family is greater. The timing of Iron Mom could not be better, as it enables us to provide vital services to the community at a critical time of year.”
4) The race is a Paducah tradition.
Iron Mom is in its ninth year this year. Mercy Health and Lourdes Hospital have been the title sponsor of this race since the race began. Iron Mom is the only half marathon in the city of Paducah, and continues to thrive each year by increasing runner numbers and donation totals. Last year, the race raised a record $63,859 for Family Service Society, with another record 874 runners from 15 different states. Runners participated either in the individual half marathon or on a relay team. The race gets bigger and better each year!
The race route allows you to see the best of the city of Paducah. The 13.1 mile route takes you through many Paducah neighborhoods and landmarks. The course offers an opportunity for runners to enjoy Jefferson Street, The Greenway Trail, Bob Noble Park, Historic Downtown, and LowerTown.
5) Don’t forget – there are many ways to participate other than running!
Iron Mom takes a true community effort to be successful – involving first responders, city government, tons of volunteers, and great sponsors, like Mercy Health. The race would not happen without the great support of the city and volunteers dedicating their time.
“One of my favorite parts of Iron Mom,” says Jennifer, “is all the volunteers who make the race so much fun- from their words of encouragement and to the music they play for the runners. And I absolutely love the funny signs!”
If you’d like to volunteer or form a spectator group for this year’s race, there’s still time! Sign up here to volunteer or spectate. Check out the race route to see close-by spots to encourage and cheer for runners as they pass.
This year’s race takes place on Saturday, May 11 in downtown Paducah. For more information on the 2019 Mercy Health Paducah Iron Mom, visit paducahironmom.com.