HelloHealthy | Fall 2019 7 Ready, set, go! The annual BakersfieldMarathon heads to the starting line This fall, for the third year in a row, Dignity Health – Mercy and Memorial Hospitals will be sponsoring the Bakersfield Marathon. The marathon offers four events of various distances. The longest, a 26.2-mile run, is an official qualifier for the Boston Marathon in spring 2020. David Milazzo, a co-founder and executive director of the local event, says people should know these seven fast facts about the Bakersfield Marathon: 1. The marathon is being held Sunday, Nov. 17. 2. It offers 5K, 10K, 13.1-mile and 26.2-mile races. “There’s a race for everyone,” Milazzo says. There are different entry fees for each race. 3. You can register for any event up to the day of the race at RunBakersfield.com . 4. Runners can pick up their materials at the Health and Wellness Expo the day before the race. Everyone is welcome to meet vendors and runners at this free event. 5. All race-day events start and end on the California State University, Bakersfield campus. 6. The finish line will feature local food and craft beer vendors, live music, and some delightful surprises, Milazzo says. 7. Last year, 8-year-old Anastasia Pursel—born with leukemia and Down syndrome—realized her dream of finishing the half-marathon with a team of friends on each arm. Her story was featured in Runner’s World magazine. You don’t have to run to take part in the fun Not planning to race? Non-runners can be participants too! “From a runner’s perspective, folks cheering on the sidelines make an enormous difference in the joy of a race,” Milazzo says. “All Bakersfieldians who come out in support of the runners become valuable ambassadors of our great city.” Plus, you don’t have to be a runner to complete an event. “We’re walker-friendly, so nearly anybody can take part in one of our events,” Milazzo says. “As the premier health organization in Kern County, Dignity Health brings invaluable financial support and wide-reaching awareness to our event,” he adds. “With Dignity’s help, we have welcomed a number of first-time runners, many of whom continue to join us year after year.” The Bakersfield Marathon’s longest event is an official qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Register today! You can register for any event up to the day of the race at RunBakersfield.com .