Registration is open for the 2018 Mancos Cowboy Half Marathon, an annual fundraiser for the Mancos Public Library.
The event, which includes a 5K and a 1-mile fun run in addition to the half-marathon, will start at the library the morning of June 23. Registration prices will go up after June 10, but runners can sign up through the day of the race if spots are available. This will be the race’s fifth year of existence, and its third year as a library fundraiser.
Library director Lee Hallberg said 157 people ran in the half-marathon and 5K last year, and he expects more this year. He said most participants aren’t competitive runners.
“We try to encourage that as much as possible, because we want it to be a fun event,” he said.
Each race starts and ends at the library. The half-marathon, which starts at 7:30 a.m., will follow a mostly unpaved loop from County Road 41 to County Road J, including a 2-mile off-road portion on a trail near Weber Canyon. The 5K will stay on County Roads J and 41. No roads will be closed during the race, but organizers are asking drivers to use caution and watch for runners near Mancos on County Roads 41, H.25, G, J and 39.
The event raised about $8,000 for library services last year, and Hallberg said it’s on track to raise nearly $9,000 this year. Registration will cost $60 per runner for the half-marathon and $33 for the 5K until June 10. The Fun Run is free. No more than 99 people can compete in the half-marathon, but the 5K has no registration limits.
For the first time, groups of five or more will also be able to register for a team competition in the 5K.
Prizes for the winners in all races include gift certificates for GPS watches, running shoes, Osprey Packs equipment and local art. More than 20 local businesses are sponsoring the event so far, and the library is still offering more sponsorship opportunities.
The Mancos Public Library was one of 29 finalists for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, one of the country’s highest honors for libraries, although it was not one of the five institutions chosen to receive the award. In addition to book-borrowing services, it offers regular programs for children and teens and educational events for all ages.