Runners can still sign up for the 45th annual Health Focus of Southwest Virginia Salem Distance Run, which will be held this Saturday, August 10, through the streets of Salem. Registration will be accepted the day of the race.

Founded by Andrew Lewis High School graduate and retired Salem High and Roanoke College track coach Richard Browder in 1975, the Salem Distance Run is the oldest race in the valley. The course is a challenge to new and old runners alike on a path that runs through some of the most beautiful historic neighborhoods in Salem.

In 2019, Health Focus of Southwest Virginia has partnered with the Salem Department of Parks and Recreation to sponsor this annual race, with proceeds going towards academic scholarships for local youth in the community who are going into a health career-related field.

The race will start at 201 East Main Street and end at Longwood Park at the corner of Main Street and Craig Avenue, with awards presented at the park following the race. It will begin at 8 a.m. and there will be a 5K and 10K race. Cost is $30 for the 5K and $35 for the 10K and both include a T-shirt.

Once again Michael Wardian will be a guest runner for the race. Wardian, 43, started running and competing in triathlons in 1996 after finishing his lacrosse career at Michigan State University, where he played attack for the Division 1 team.  Michael’s first marathon in 1996 was the Marine Corps marathon with a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which he did with a time of 3:08. Since his first race Wardian has completed more than 170 marathons and over 70 “Ultra Marathons” on six continents and the North Pole. He’s also run 20 triathlons, including the Iron Man at Lake Placid.

For registration or more information contact the Salem Department of Parks and Recreation at 375-3057 or one of the following: Laurie Gibbons of Health Focus of SWVA lgibbons@hfswva.org or (540) 444-2925; or Jeremy Woods of Run Roanoke LLC Runroanoke@gmail.com or (540) 589-3212.

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