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Hillbillies, not bumpkins


It’s dark when you go to sleep. It’s dark when you wake up. And the air is only getting cooler. Just when it seems all the signs are telling you to stay inside, you can still find something active to do when you’re out and about — like the Hillbilly Half-Marathon in Indianola.

“This is our second year of the Hillbilly Half-Marathon and 10K,” said Bobbi Snodgrass, race director. “The race is a fundraiser for our Indianola Christian Union Church Missions Team. We believe that taking people out of their natural environment helps them to realize that they can make an impact on people and places.”

The Hillbilly Hike Half-Marathon & 10K will take place on Nov. 7 beginning at the Indianola High School at 8 a.m.

The Hillbilly Hike Half-Marathon & 10K will take place on Nov. 7 beginning at the Indianola High School at 8 a.m.

The half-marathon starts at the Indianola High School and is set primarily on the beautiful Summerset Trail.

“The trail is an old railway, and it is absolutely beautiful,” Snodgrass said. “The half-marathon course will cross 12 bridges, Summerset State Park, and Banner Lakes make a fantastic spot where our photographers will capture athlete pics.”

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One of the attractions to this particular race is the fact that it’s downhill and then becomes flat as a pancake, Snodgrass said. The competition is what you make it.

“We will be putting on a quality event. We are trying to prove that you don’t have to indulge in huge jumbotrons and flashy start/finish lines in order to host a quality race,” said Snodgrass. “We think it is more important to attend an event that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You will see that we are old school, on a limited budget, and we are proud of it.”

Many of the volunteers are in costume and are proud to represent their community while putting a smile on the faces of 300–400 runners. (At the time of this writing, 322 have registered, representing 11 states.) In the past, athletes have run in costumes, and that only adds to the fun.

“We have a smorgasbord of great food at the finish: biscuits and gravy, pie, chocolate milk and other great grub,” said Ryan Foust, race director. “We will personally congratulate and present each runner with his or her medal. We set up a photo booth and will be taking pics that will be available for download free of charge after our race.”

Race Day packet pick-up and registration starts at 6 a.m. on the east side of the Carlisle High School. The buses will arrive at 6:30 a.m. to begin taking athletes to the starting line. The buses will be marked “half-marathon” and “10K.” The last bus takes off at 7:15 a.m. Buses will leave as soon as they fill.

They may be hillbillies, but don’t call them bumpkins. This event is about celebrating community, friends and yourself.

“The truth is, sure, we live in the city, enjoy a lot of creature comforts, technological advances, higher education — but our roots are strong,” said Foust. “If all these things disappeared tomorrow, we would survive because family taught us how to think and do for ourselves, and it’s that creativity that will have our athletes laughing all the way to Carlisle, which is one of the friendliest small towns on earth.” CV

Hillbilly Hike Half-Marathon & 10K

Indianaola High School
$45/Half; $35/10K
Participants can park at the Carlisle High School; bus transportation to both start lines is provided. The last bus will leave Carlisle at 7:15 a.m.

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