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Honor Run Half Marathon: Race to raise money for Honor Flights

FLORENCE, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- Organizers are planning northern Kentucky's first half-marathon race and it's a link between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.

The first 'Honor Run Half Marathon' will be Veteran's Day weekend in Florence.  All the money raised will be donated to Honor Flight Tri-State, the organization that flies veterans to Washington to visit the nation's memorials to their service. 

The Honor Flight half marathon will start and finish at an iconic northern Kentucky landmark, the "Florence Y'all" water tower.  The route will meander past the mall, Turfway Park and the airport.  As always, for runners the goal is to finish.  But the real goal for the Honor Flight half is to help aging vets accomplish their goal of visiting those memorials in Washington.

Scott Spicher was on the street in Florence on Memorial Day, shooting the Memorial Day Parade for the Boone County Schools.  He'll be on the street this Veteran's Day weekend as well.  Spicher's the Executive Director of the Honor Run Half Marathon.  He says it will be the largest health and wellness event based in northern Kentucky.

Cincinnati has the Heart Mini and the Flying Pig Marathon but northern Kentucky has never had an event it can call its own.  It does now!  Spicher says it was his wife's idea.  They've  lined up sponsors to cover administrative expenses so every dollar will go to Honor Flight Tri-State.  Now all they need is runners. 

They are hoping for between 800-1500 runners.  That would give in the neighborhood of $30,000 in funds raised.  That can pay for a lot of Honor Flights.  The tri-state group has been ferrying aging World War II and Korea vets to Washington since 2005.  Two groups have already gone this year and three more flights are filling up for August, September and October. 

In the crowd at Florence's Memorial Day celebration were a couple of veterans who've made Honor Flights.  Fred Horne served on the USS Blackwood.  Elwood Schneider served on the USS Helena in Korea.

Horne told Local 12's Joe Webb when asked what the Honor Flight meant to him, "What did it mean to me?  It was one of the greatest days of my life. It really was."

The race is November 15th and starts at 7a.m.  If you need more information about the Honor Run Half Marathon CLICK HERE.

The course will actually take runners onto the airport property around the control tower.  Organizers are also supporting what they call "shadow runners."  These are active duty military who will do a half marathon the same day where they are stationed.  They'll get a t-shirt and medal just like the runners in Florence.


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