A woman getting ready to run.
Sports / Orthopedic

5 Reasons to Participate in the Iron Mom Half-Marathon

Apr 21 2021

The Mercy Health Iron Mom Half-Marathon is BACK this year with in person and virtual options to participate! Whether you’re a runner, walker, volunteer, spectator or want to stay home, there’s plenty of reasons to participate in the Mercy Health Iron Mom Half-Marathon. The race kicks off on Saturday, May 8, 2021 in downtown Paducah, KY.

Here are the top five reasons to participate in this race.

Celebrate the women in your life on Mother’s Day Weekend.

The Mercy Health Iron Mom Half-Marathon is a Mother’s Day Weekend tradition in Paducah, KY. With the exception of 2020, the event has been held the Saturday before Mother’s Day for the past ten years. You’ll see nearly 1,000 runners scattered throughout the city 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. This year you can also join virtually.

“I run Iron Mom and run in general for stress relief, the health benefits and ability to spend time with my thoughts,” says Cyndi Porter, Mercy Health Director of Compliance (pictured left). “I run for me, and for my family. They can’t live with me when I spend more than a day or two without running.”

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 form relationships with friends.

“My advice to other runners would be put one foot in front of the other,” says Cyndi. “You just have to go do it!”

The race is not limited to those who can run a whole 13.1 miles. There are also virtual and relay options to 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 an 18-minute mile pace.

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 helping 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.”

The race is a Paducah tradition.

Iron Mom is in its tenth year this year. Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital has 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. In 2018 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 too. The 13.1-mile route takes you through many neighborhoods and landmarks. The course offers an opportunity for runners to enjoy Jefferson Street, The Greenway Trail, Bob Noble Park, Historic Downtown and LowerTown.

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 and sponsors, like Mercy Health. The race would also not happen without the great support of the city and many volunteers dedicating their time.

“One of my favorite parts of Iron Mom is after I finish, when I get that first deep breath! Sweating gets rid of toxins,” Cyndi shares.

If you’d like to volunteer or form a spectator group for this year’s race, there’s still time! Sign up to volunteer or spectate. Also, check out the race route to see close-by spots where you can encourage and cheer for runners as they pass.

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