Appeal of Women's Half Marathon extends beyond the course

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 12:30am

Dawna Stone was looking for more than just 13.1 miles. She believes she found it in Nashville.

“We wanted a city with a strong running community, good running scenery, and a place people want to travel to,” Stone said. “Nashville just has a good vibe to it and there is plenty to do beyond the race.”

Stone, the founder of Women’s Running magazine, announced Nashville as the second location for the Women’s Half Marathon at a downtown press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The race will take place September 25 over a proposed course, which will begin and end at the Country Music Hall of Fame. City landmarks on the 13.1-mile route also will include: LP Field, Centennial Park, Music Row, runner friendly Belmont Boulevard and the Cumberland River.

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray and his Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises group will handle race day operations.

Several amenities are planned to make the race cater to women. Stone mentioned a designer handbag with goodies, a detachable medal that doubles as jewelry, and “lots of port-a-potties.” An affiliated two-day health and fitness expo at the Renaissance Hotel will offer a shopping outlet to the event.

Men need not feel excluded.

“We don’t disallow men to run, but we do ask that they run in support of a female friend or relative,” Stone said. “But if they are looking to win their age group, we don’t give awards to men.”

Early registration is $85 dollars through May 31. The first 250 participants pay just $50.