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Mark your calendars for Integrity Worldwide

The eighth annual Integrity Worldwide Run for Kenya is set to take place Sept. 23 through downtown Selma.

The event raises money for the people of Meto, Kenya, and will be going to help finish a medical clinic that ground was broken on last year.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser for Integrity Worldwide that happens each year,” said Elizabeth Gilmer, race coordinator.

“This year, we are continuing to raise money for the Integrity Health Medical and Dental Clinic, in which we also raised money for last year.”

They except to finish the clinic soon, and the money from this year’s event will help them do just that. The last team that traveled to Meto worked out of the clinic, but it’s still not quite ready.

“This year we’re going to be completing the construction,” Gilmer said.

“It’s not quite finished being built, and it doesn’t have all the equipment that it needs, so that’s what we’ll be raising is the money needed to finish it.”

Gilmer said the race is a huge fundraiser for Integrity, and they wouldn’t be able to help the people without the support of those here that participate.

“We hope as many people will come run as can. Last year, we had about 350 runners and about 500 people total at the event,” Gilmer said.

Leading up to the race, Gilmer said the Integrity team gets excited and even begins planning way before the race.

“We get so excited,” she said. “We really look forward to the race all year long and begin planning months in advance and really look forward to the event.”

Gilmer said it’s important to them to make it a community event, where entire families can come out and race or cheer on the runners competing.

“It’s a community event and so many people come and join us, and we really look forward to it and anticipate it all year long,” Gilmer said.

“We always hear from people how much fun they have. It’s really something for the whole family to enjoy, so we encourage people to bring their whole family and they’ll definitely be able to find something fun to do.”

Last year, the winners of the race were awarded special medals, and this year, they’ll be receiving some equally as unique.

“This year’s medals are even better than last year’s, which is hard to believe that they could even be better,” Gilmer said. “Once again, we have medals that were made by the women in Meto. They are unbelievable. Each one is hand made and is so detailed. They spend weeks making each medal. They are worth coming and running for themselves. They’re truly incredible.”

The race will take place in downtown Selma and will follow the same course as previous years. There will be a 10K, 5K and 1-mile fun run.

Registration is now open and those wanting to participate can go ahead and sign up at IntegrityWorldwide.org. The cost is $25 and includes a race bag with a t-shirt.