‘Other Half’ race celebrates 10th anniversary on Oct. 20
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Oct 18, 2013 | 2516 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Racers jump for joy as they cross the finish line at a previous Other Half race. Photo by Action Sports Images
Racers jump for joy as they cross the finish line at a previous Other Half race. Photo by Action Sports Images
Approximately 1,500 runners are scheduled to participate in the 10th annual half-marathon race known as “The Other Half.”  

The race is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20 near Dewey Bridge on state Route 128. It ends at Sorrel River Ranch (mile marker 17), with the top runners expected to arrive at the finish line just before 10 a.m.

Race director Ranna Bieschke said she and Moab Half Marathon course director Sheri Simmons started “The Other Half” in 2004 as a companion race to the popular Canyonlands Half Marathon that is held each spring.

“When Sheri Simmons and I initially looked at adding another race to our event calendar, we wanted to run the ‘other’ part of the River Road,” Bieschke noted, adding, “We both felt it to be as beautiful, if not more so, than the spring Canyonlands Half Marathon course.”

“I am proud that Sheri and I created something from nothing,” Bieschke added. “I love this race; I think it’s one of the most beautiful road courses I have had the privilege to experience. I am proud that my staff and I offer a quality, fun, beautiful, memorable experience for all those who partake.”

Last year’s race featured the fastest finish to date, with 25-year-old Kenyon Neuman of Boulder, Colo., setting a new course record with a time of 1:09:09. The female course record is 1:23:06, set by Marisa Asplund in 2008.

Also of note, Marty Wacker, who finished second overall with a time of 1:20:05 in 2012, hopes to break the master course record of 1:15:00 set by Bernie Boettcher in 2006.

Bieschke said that as has been the case over the years, the female entrants once again outnumber the males by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio.

In honor of the event’s 10th anniversary, two runners in particular will receive VIP treatment at this year’s race, as they have run all nine of the previous Other Half races and are signed up to compete again this year, Bieschke said. The two members of the elite “10 Year Club” are Ray Jensen from Grand Junction, Colo., and Emily Box from Salt Lake City.

All race participants will receive a special commemorative race program, finisher medal, and a pint glass.

In addition, the Moab Taiko Dan drumming group has performed at all nine previous events and will be playing again this year, Bieschke said.

More than 200 volunteers will be assisting at the race, including volunteers from each of the following groups or organizations: Seekhaven; the Moab Teen Center, the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, Community Rebuilds, the Humane Society, Daystar Adventist Academy; BEACON, Canyonlands Community Recycling, and Grand County High School’s marching band, cross-country, and girls basketball teams.

“We couldn’t produce this event without them,” Bieschke said of the volunteers.

The night before the race, on Saturday, Oct. 19, a pasta dinner will be served by the Grand County High School marching band. The dinner will be held at the Moab Valley Inn, 711 S. Main St., from 5 to 8 p.m. Runners who purchased tickets with their registration will find their names on a list at the door. Tickets will also be available at the door ($14 for adults and $6 for children under 12).

The finish line at Sorrel River Ranch Resort is the best place to watch the race, Bieschke said. Parking will be available at a gravel lot one mile west of the finish area. Shuttles will run between the parking area and the ranch. Participants and observers are reminded that the section of SR 128 will be closed to all vehicular traffic, including bicycles, from 7 a.m. until noon.

For more information, visit www.moabhalfmarathon.org.

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