Laugh and a Half Marathon logo

The deadline is approaching for those who want to register for an event that features an unusual combination — running and laughter.

The 2019 Laugh-and-a-Half marathon — run in conjunction with next week’s Great American Comedy Festival in Norfolk — is set for Saturday, June 15 and will feature a half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and a kid's fun run race.

Runners must register by Wednesday, June 12, in order to participate.

Returning for the 2019 race is the the Laugh-and-a-half team challenge. Participants can choose to join a team to be eligible for special prize drawings. Participants can join a team at the time they register or after — up until the registration deadline. Teams must be comprised of two or more members and there is no limit to the number of team members per team, although each team must have a captain.

Teams will compete in several categories including best dressed, best team theme, funniest team, best team name and biggest team. Winning team members are eligible to receive a special team photo, comedy festival tickets or free entry into next year's race.

Named a "Top Race Worth Traveling For" in Nebraska, as well as being included in the book, "The Runner's Bucket List: 200 Races to Run Before You Die", the Laugh-and-a-Half marathon race routes follow alongside the Elkhorn River on the Cowboy Trail with a start and finish at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park. The kid's fun run is held within the park.

Prize money and a winner's trophy is awarded to the overall male and female half-marathon race winners with all half-marathon finishers receiving a special finisher medal. All participants receive a t-shirt and free access to the pre-race pasta party and post-race pancake feed.

The event is sponsored by Faith Regional Health Services of Norfolk and Norfolk radio station KNEN 94.7 and is designed to promote wellness and ensure funds raised through the event support pediatric needs in Northeast Nebraska. Over $70,000 in funds have been raised over the last seven years helping fund projects.

This year's funds will support adaptive trikes for children. An adaptive trike offers a child not only recreational and social benefits but also a form of mobility that they may currently not have as well as a means of exercise that is highly beneficial for medical reasons.

In addition to registered runners, the event's organizers are looking for volunteers to help the day of the event. Whether it is staffing water stations, handing medals, or cheering and helping direct runners along the course, a variety of volunteer opportunities are available.

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Want to learn more?

To sign up to volunteer, call (402) 371-0100. To register for the races, go to www.laughandahalfmarathon.com.

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A grand jury will be convened next week in Madison County to investigate the circumstances surrounding the June 9 death of Cory Dittman of Norfolk.