Ready to run, walk or wag your tail for good cause

Grab your running shoes, bottle of water and even your dog.

The sixth annual Seymour Half-Marathon 5K run/walk and 1-mile dog walk is set for Saturday, and participants can still register.

The 13.1-mile run begins at 8 a.m. at Seymour High School and travels city streets and country roads, going past Chateau de Pique Winery, through residential areas and back to the school.

This is the second year for the FLASH Jackson County 5K run/walk, which begins at 8:15 a.m., and the mile dog walk, which starts at 8:30 a.m.

The entry fees are $70 for the half-marathon, $35 for the 5K and $30 for the dog walk. Medals will be given to all finishers in each event.

Proceeds from the events will go to FLASH Jackson County, a low-cost spay and neuter program. The nonprofit organization is open to all county residents and has no income restrictions.

“Our hope is that the participants have a great and enjoyable race and that they take away a better knowledge of the importance of spaying and neutering companion animals,” said Rene Hinderlider, a Seymour resident. She is co-founder and president of FLASH Jackson County.

She said FLASH partners with Pets Alive in Bloomington to perform the surgeries, while K9 Campers Doggie Daycare in Seymour provides the site to run the program.

Hinderlider said the only way to reduce the number of cats and dogs euthanized in shelters is to have pets fixed.

Typically, the process costs $33 for a cat and $53 for a dog (a valid rabies certificate is required). FLASH offers financial assistance to those who cannot afford to pay the fees. Last year, 285 local dogs and cats were spayed or neutered through the program.

Without fundraisers like the run/walk, assistance funds aren’t readily available, Hinderlider said.

“We run 100 percent from donations. So if we do not have funds available, we may not be able to completely cover the cost,” she said. “That is why these fundraisers and support from our community is so important to our program.”

Hinderlider said there were 203 people ran or walked in last year’s event, raising about $1,000.

This year, the event already has 296 people registered — 216 for the half-marathon, 57 for the run/walk and 23 for the dog walk.

Hinderlider said local emergency personnel, including police and fire rescue, are a huge part of the event, too.

“They are an essential part of making this event such a huge success,” she said.

Preregistered participants will receive a T-shirt. Those who signed up after May 3 may still be able to get a shirt, but it will be first-come, first-serve and sizes are not guaranteed, Hinderlider said.

All participants of the half-marathon must finish within four hours (18:19/mile pace).In addition, donations will be collected for Red Sky Rescue in Medora, including dog food, towels and cleaning supplies such as bleach.

On the Web

For information, visit seymourhalf.com or search “Seymour Half Marathon” on Facebook.

If you go

The half-marathon begins at 8 a.m., the 5K run/walk begins at 8:15 a.m.. and the 1-mile dog walk begins at 8:30 a.m.

The events all start at Seymour High School.

The cost for the half-marathon is $70, the 5K is $35, and the dog walk is $30.

On the Web

To find out more about FLASH Jackson County, visit flashjacksoncounty.com.