Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Council OKs 7th Iron Horse Half Marathon for Oct. 16; sees plat showing outline of new factory

By Katherine Stach and Stepper Toth
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media

The Midway City Council approved an event permit for the seventh Iron Horse Half Marathon, to be held Oct. 16, at its meeting Tuesday night.

This year’s race will be the largest ever, with 2,000 signups allowed, race coordinator Chuck Griffis told the council. “We have about a 25 percent no show on race day, so even by adding 200, we probably only increase the number of finishers by 75.” In the first race in 2010, there were 710 finishers. Last year, there were 1,373.

The race has gained popularity in recent years, being named 21st out of Runner’s World Magazine’s top 28 half marathons in the United States. “We do a lot of races and this is by far the most successful,” said John Sensing, owner of John’s Run/Walk Shop in Lexington, the race’s sponsor.

In previous years, the race has prevented some of the city’s residents from making it to church on time, which remains a concern of city officials. However, the race made adjustments a few years ago to avoid traffic blockages, and Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said he got only one complaint this year, a month after the event.

“I know there’s always going to be people inconvenienced by this,” Vandegrift said, but he told Griffis, “You all do a great job.”

Griffis said his staff will continue with efforts to educate the community on any problems they may encounter concerning the race. “We will continue to make every effort we can to open every channel of communications to let more and more people know exactly what to expect that day,” he said. “We're always looking for more input.”

Griffis said his staff will continue distributing pamphlets twice before the race. “We do this in an effort to let everyone know what exactly is going on that day, including the time frame and the interruptions they can expect,” he said. 

As a token of appreciation for their work with the race, John’s donated $1,250 each to the city, to the Midway Ministerial Association, and to the Versailles police and the Woodford County Sheriff's Department for their “Cops for Kids” program.

The Woodford Humane Society, which provides 75 to 100 volunteers for the race, received $10,000, Griffis said.

“The people of these organizations are some of the best I’ve worked with in 25 years and we truly could not do this without them,” he said at the meeting.

Walkers and runners are welcome, as long as a 14-minute per mile pace is kept. Volunteering is also an option if you would like to participate but do not want to run or walk. If interested, visit info@ironhorsehalfmarathon.com.

Griffis noted that on Saturday, Oct. 15, the day before his event, the annual Bourbon Chase will come through Midway. It's a 200-mile relay race along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with teams and causes fewer traffic issues than the half marathon.

In other business, the council appointed Mary Raglin to the county Human Rights Commission, succeeding Helen Rentch, who had served the limit of two terms; and approved an encroachment permit for the entrances on McKinney Avenue to the lot on Georgetown Road where American Howa Kentucky will build an auto-parts factory.
North is at the top of this plat. Georgetown Road is to the left, just outside the image. The factory is the large rectangle.
The plat for the 15-acre lot revealed the exact location and dimensions of the plant, which will be 102,000 square feet with another 51,764 square feet available for expansion. The entrance nearest Georgetown Road will be a “Y” to avoid covering the vaults where the new Kentucky American Water Co. supply line joins the city system. That will also create a direct intersection for traffic exiting Midway Station to cross McKinney Avenue onto the factory lot.

The council also heard County Clerk Sandy Jones explain that the city would have to pass an ordinance in order to avoid having a primary election if more than 12 people filed for the six council seats, which apparently has ever happened. It's too late to pass an ordinance for this year’s elections, since the filing deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 26, but Vandegrift said it should be done for the next two-year council term.

Council Member Bruce Southworth, chair of the council's special committee to consider sidewalk policies and improvements, said the panel would meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. All council and committee meetings are open to the public.

No comments: