CORBIN - This Saturday marks the culmination of nearly 11 months of planning, as the city of Corbin will host the first annual Colonel Sanders Half Marathon.
Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel said this year’s inaugural race will have 232 participants, with nearly 30 percent of runners coming from out of state.
“It’s amazing,” she said on the number of participants set to run the race. “That’s an amazing turnout for the first race, and considering what kind of year it’s been.”
Kriebel said the oldest participant is in their 70s and the runner traveling the furthest to take part in the race hails from Walnut, California, which is 2,200 miles away from Corbin.
“We did very targeted advertising and we actually had our race listed on several running group websites,” Kriebel said on how race officials were able to draw in participants from all over the country.
Kriebel created a race committee which included several local marathon enthusiasts that met every two weeks and ironed out the details of the Colonel Sanders Half Marathon, such as the race’s route which will be closed to traffic throughout the race.
Starting at 8:30 a.m. on race day, runners will start on Depot Street and travel down Roy Kidd Ave. They’ll then make a right onto South Laurel Ave, and turn right onto East Barbourville St. before making a right onto North Wilson Ave.
From there, racers will turn left onto Hamlin Ave, and make their way back onto Roy Kidd Ave. They’ll turn right onto Barbourville Rd, left onto South Commonwealth Ave, left onto KY 1629, left onto Park Hill Road, right onto Park Hill Rd, and continue on Carter, and then Engineer Street. They will continue through Engineer Street Bridge and Creek Walk taking them by the Corbin Civic Center. They will then make a right onto East Barbourville St, a right onto South Laurel Ave, a left onto Roy Kidd Ave once more, before turning left onto Lynn St.
Racers will then make a right onto East 4th St continuing onto West 5th Street Rd. They’ll turn right onto Woodland Acres, make a left onto West 5th St, a right onto South KY Ave and continue onto Main St. They will then make a right onto West 19th St, a left onto Snyder St, a right onto W. Adkins St, and a left onto Roosevelt St. Racers and will then continue onto West 20th St before making a right onto Early St. They will then take a left onto 21st St, and then turn right onto S KY Ave. Runners will continue on W 23rd St, make a right onto Main St. before turning right onto East 7th St, where they will continue on Depot Street for the race’s finish.
Kriebel said Corbin City police will help with closing off the race course to would-be traffic.
The race will feature multiple age groups with the first, second, and third place finishers receiving a custom award from local Corbin Dew Drop Pottery. The awards are handcrafted mugs, and bowls featuring the state of Kentucky with the word Corbin etched across it.
The race will also also see awards given to the overall first, second, and third place male and female finishers of the race, who will receive a plaque. The master division, which is made up of runners age 40 and older, and the grandmaster division, comprised of runners age 50 and older will receive a plaque, as well.
The first place overall winners of each division will also receive a gift basket, which is made up of KFC bucket that includes several Corbin, and KFC related prizes.
Each participant will receive a goody bag and a Colonel Sanders Half Marathon medal created by Ashworth Awards out of Massachusetts, who has also created medals for the Boston Marathon in the past.
The Colonel Sanders Half Marathon will also feature a Colonel Sanders lookalike contest which will take place at Sander’s Park at 11:30 a.m. on race day. The contest is open to the public, with no preregistration required. Those wishing to participate in the lookalike contest do not have to participate in the race. The winner of the contest will receive a $100 cash prize.
Kriebel said those community members who are not participating in the race can still get involved. She said that several community members are meeting at Sanders Park on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to participate in a community clean up of the race’s route. She also invites those interested to make signs and stand along the race’s route on race day to encourage and cheer on runners as they pass.
“This truly is a community-wide event. We have churches who have volunteers to man water stations,” Kriebel said, noting the race has also received help from Corbin’s Rotary Club and Elks Lodge. “We have close to 100 volunteers coming from the University of the Cumberlands,” she added. “We have police, fire, and public works, as well as parks involvement. So this truly has been a community wide initiative. I’m just really proud of Corbin for showing up and showing out.”