FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Literacy Volunteers of Marion County (LVMC) held its 18th annual “Run to Read Half Marathon” at Prickett’s Fort State Park on Saturday.

The half marathon race is held every year to help raise money for the LVMC. All proceeds go to benefit LVMC, going towards buying books for children and to provide resource materials for tutors. Most tutors are volunteers, so the LVMC wants to be able to provide as much information for tutors as possible.

Registration began at 11:30 a.m. and was $45 per person to run, unless you had already pre-registered, in which case, it was only $40 per person. Registration packets were picked up from the canopies in the bottom parking lot. The half marathon, always held on the rail trail, had runners take their marks and run off at exactly 1 p.m.

Mark Sutyak, the half marathon director and LVMC board member, spoke with 12 News about why having these races are important for those in the community. Sutyak said, “it’s great, you know, to keep people out here, get people outside. And really, especially since COVID, more and more people have been getting outside, which is wonderful, and we’re just happy to have that outlet for them.”

The LVMC has two separate races a year, one in winter and one in summer. The half marathon always takes place within the first two weekends of January, which usually has snow fall, while the summer marathon consists of a 5K and 10K race. Both races are considered the two biggest fundraisers that the Literacy Volunteers hold.

All runners who participated in the race received a free “finisher” medal. If you were unable to participate in this year’s half marathon, you can still donate here.