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The Crazy Days Half Marathon and 5K will now be known as the Perham Harrier Half Marathon and 5K. FOCUS File.

Perham half marathon getting new identity

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The second annual Perham half marathon is gaining a stronger identity.

Playing on a Perham cross-country team inside joke, the marathon, to be held this year on July 30, will now be known as the Perham Harrier Half Marathon, an event that also features a 5K.

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Jeff Morris, Perham cross-country coach, cites an article published by Roger Robinson titled, "History: Tracing Cross Country Running's True Origins" when explaining how the half marathon name came to be.

Essentially, cross-country runners are often referred to as harriers, a term derived from hare-hunters. According to Robinson's article, cross-country was created out of a game called "Hunt the Hare," which entitled one party to run ahead of another

"pack," leaving trails of paper behind. This pack was referred to as the hare or the fox. The second pack of runners, often referred to as hounds, would attempt to catch the hares, resulting in a game of long distance endurance running.

Last year, the half marathon, known as the Crazy Days Half Marathon, drew about 40 participants, while the 5K brought in around 80 participants. This year, Morris is hoping to double those numbers.

Courses this year will be the same as last year. The half marathon will start at 7 a.m., while the 5K will kick off around 7:15 a.m. Championship timing will be available for both races. Cash prizes will be given to top winners, including $100 for the overall winner, $50 for second and $25 for third. To register for the races, go to http://perhamhalfmarathon.weebly.com/.

Turtle Fest Races

On Saturday, June 18, runners will have a chance to take on either a 5K or a 10K during the 16th Annual Turtle Fest Road Race.

Both races will take off from Arvig Park on Hwy 51 at 9 a.m.

Registration can be done on race day for $20. Registration before the event at perhamhalfmarathon.weebly.com is $15.

Awards will be given to top three male and females in a variety of age groups.

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