Andalusia Civitan 5K, Half-Marathon huge success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1208-spt-Half-marathon-groupThe first ever half-marathon in Andalusia was put on Saturday by the Civitan Club and was a huge success said Civitan Vice President Jennifer O’Neal.

“I was very happy with the turnout,” O’Neal said. “We were hoping for around 100 runners between the half-marathon and the 5K and we had 115 runners.”

Civitan Club member Jan White also said that the event was a success.

“It was a big success, especially for our first year,” White said. “It was a big undertaking for the first year, but Jennifer’s experience with running in marathons and 5Ks really helped us out.”

O’Neal said that half of the 115 runners participated in the 13-mile half-marathon that stretched out across the city of Andalusia.

“We had people from all over the place come in for the half-marathon,” O’Neal said. “That was what we wanted. It seems that there are 5Ks around here all the time and we wanted to add a different element to it, so we decided to do a half-marathon.”

White said that course layout was done in a way that it could highlight the city.

“It was a great way to show off Andalusia,” White said.

O’Neal added that they were going for a Christmas theme and they city lended itself nicely for that.

“Andalusia is so beautiful, especially around Christmas time and we wanted to show that off,” O’Neal said. “When deciding on the route, we knew we wanted Candyland on the Court Square to be included.”

O’Neal and White both said that the event could not have been a success with out the help of all the volunteers.

“The volunteers were incredible,” O’Neal said. “We had various groups that set up water stations along the way. The Andalusia Junior High Peer Group had a station set up and they won the competition for most encouraging station. They made signs, were hugging runners and really just cheering them on. It was great.”

O’Neal said that all of the proceeds from the event will stay in the community and go towards things like the Harding Leadership Scholarship, John Simpson Scholarship, Community Christmas, Freedom Forum, building ramps for the disabled and many other things.

O’Neal said that Civitan Club plans on making this an annual event.