20th annual Marion Mile starts off on the right foot

Jun 27, 2023

MARION — Marion Mile Race Director Chris Adams had some advice for the youngsters at the starting line of the Marion Mile on Tuesday, June 27: “If you fall down, get back up again.”

And then, with the sound of a starting siren, the six and under division of racers set off on a half-mile run around Tabor Academy’s turf field. Soon after, kids aged seven to 14 ran one mile on the turf. 

The Marion Mile, now in its 20th year, gives children up to the age of 14 a chance to compete in a softer and shorter race than the traditional 5k that is normally held in Marion, said Adams. 

The Marion Mile started with about 20 participants and from there “it just grew,” he said. 

“He just loves running so much,” said Marion Mile volunteer Pam Carpenter, pointing out how happy Adams looked while giving kids race instructions through a megaphone. 

But Adams, a Spanish teacher and boys track coach at Tabor Academy, he doesn’t do it alone. He has help from volunteers Nic Huaco, Ashley Sink, Charlie Jackivicz and Jim Soden. 

“I’m happy as a pig in a mud puddle to be here,” said Soden, who knew Adams “from running” and has helped with the race since it started.

“The younger ones just like to get out and run — there’s always smiles coming across the finish line,” he said. “Parents like it because [the kids] get their ya yas out before bed.”

One runner who got tuckered out from the race was Christian Rosa, who was running with the older division for the first time, said his father Lazaro Rosa.

“Once we told him this was on again, he was so excited to be here,” said Lazaro. “It’s good to get the kids out here, off the electronics.”

The Marion Mile meets every Tuesday — except for Tuesday, July 4 —  from June 27 to August 1, said Adams. On the week of July 4, the group meets on Wednesday. 

Runners’ times are tracked throughout the summer and awards are given out at the end, said Adams. 

For more information, visit the Marion Mile Facebook page.