WCU’s spring races offer free training program

Have the holidays added a few extra inches to your waistline and you’re determined to get fit in 2013?

Registering for Western Carolina University’s Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon & 5-K and taking advantage of the race organization’s free training program and group runs on the WCU campus might be just what you need to get on the right track.

New and seasoned runners alike will gather for the races Saturday, April 6. The half marathon will begin at 8 a.m. and take runners on a scenic 13.1-mile journey through the WCU campus and along the Tuckaseigee River. The 5-K (3.1-mile) race begins at 8:15 a.m.

A free training program developed by WCU’s athletic training faculty is being emailed to all registered runners and walkers, and group training runs will be held on the campus at 6 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, beginning Monday, Jan. 7. There will be plans for both beginner and experienced runners and walkers, and experts in the fields of injury prevention, nutrition and health will provide information sessions and assistance to participants.

WCU’s School of Health Sciences and Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness are hosting the races. MedWest Health System is the title sponsor. Proceeds will be used to assist WCU students with expenses for professional development opportunities such as presentations and travel to workshops and conferences.

Online registration for the half marathon and 5-K is available at imathlete.com. Registration fees are $40 for the half marathon and $20 for the 5-K through Thursday, Feb. 28. Beginning Friday, March 1, the fees increase to $60 for the half marathon and $25 for the 5-K. Online registration will close Tuesday, April 2, but race day registration will be available at $80 for the half marathon and $30 for the 5-K.

For more information about the Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K, and the free training program, go to http://halfmarathon.wcu.edu or email valleyofthelilies@wcu.edu.

Runners take off at the start of the 2012 Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon on the WCU campus.