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AthHalf Will Go Virtual in 2020

AthHalf in less socially distanced times.

The AthHalf half marathon and 5K, originally scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25, will take place in a virtual format this year, with runners submitting their times to the race director.

“We were really, really hopeful we would be able to host the AthHalf Half Marathon and 5K together in person this fall,” AthFest Educates Executive Director Jill Helme said in a news release. “Annually these events bring together thousands of participants, volunteers, and staff in support of music and arts education for Athens youth. 

“However, in talking with local and university officials, who provide access to the courses and help us manage and staff the courses, it became clear that the in-person races as planned would not be possible,” Helme said. “The virtual format helps us best protect the health and safety of all of our runners, volunteers and staff in this most unusual year. We are so grateful for the understanding and commitment of our strong running community who support the AthHalf each year. We expect to be back together in person in Athens for the 2021 AthHalf race weekend.” 

AthHalf is a fundraiser for AthFest Educates, an organization that raises money for arts and music education and also puts on the AthFest music festival each summer.

Participants can complete a 13-mile half marathon or 5K run along the route of their choosing and submit their time by Oct. 25 to receive a T-shirt. Half-marathon runners will also receive a medal.

Organizers still hope to have some type of “finish line” event to celebrate the runners who completed the race, Helme said.

Registration is open through Oct. 23 and is $70 for the half marathon or $30 for the 5K. Proceeds go toward arts and music education grants to local schools, nonprofits and government agencies. For example, last year’s grants brought musicians Kishi Bashi and Linqua Franqua to Clarke County School District assemblies and funded a David Hale mural at Fowler Drive Elementary.