The time for training season has officially begun for people running in the Holy Half Marathon this year. The Student Union Board (SUB) has opened registration for the ninth annual half marathon that will take participants on a scenic route through Notre Dame’s campus March 23. “The Holy Half is one of the biggest student-run events on campus and has quickly become a Notre Dame tradition,” Maria Murphy, an SUB representative, said. Murphy, who is also a Holy Half programmer this year, said the best part of the Holy Half is that runners not only get to train and compete in a 13.1 mile race, but also get to make a difference in the South Bend community on behalf of the University. “All proceeds from the race go to the Women’s Care Center (WCC) and the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County,” Murphy said. “Our goal this year is to raise $40,000 for these awesome organizations.” This year the Holy Half will include a new course for runners, Murphy said. She said the event will also feature Mike Collins, the voice of Notre Dame Stadium, as the emcee. “Runners will get a 2013 Holy Half t-shirt and a bunch of other free goodies from our sponsors,” Murphy said. “All volunteers will get lots of food and our undying thanks.” Sponsors for the 2013 Holy Half include GU Energy, Blistex, Jimmy Johns, Dunkin’ Donuts, Harper Cancer Research Institute, Hagerty, Zone Perfect and ABRO Industries, Murphy said. For those runners who aren’t prepared to run 13.1 miles, there is also a 10k race option that will take place 15 minutes after the half marathon begins. Murphy said there is a capacity for 1,300 runners. For students who aren’t runners but still want to get involved, there are plenty of spots open for student volunteers to help set up the race, run water stations and cheer on runners. “By volunteering I gained so much respect for people who were able to run that long,” Ann Kebede, a 2012 volunteer for the event, said. “It was especially cool to watch the girls who kept such a fast pace. I also liked seeing people I knew run past while I cheered them on.” Kebede said volunteering was a great way to get involved in the event because she knew she wouldn’t want to participate as a runner. “A lot of what I did was cheer people on and give them motivation to keep going,” Kebede said. The Holy Half is a great way for Notre Dame and the surrounding community to be able to physically participate in the athletic culture of the school, she said. “It is an athletic event that the whole campus can do, as well as the outside community,” Kebede said. “Since athletics is such a big part of Notre Dame, this is a great thing that is open to everyone and gives people the opportunity to be active for a day.” Murphy said SUB has given the Holy Half a lot of freedom this year. She added that SUB plans to make the race fun for all and, most importantly, raise money for WCC and the Family Center of Saint Joseph’s County. “We are so happy with how the race is coming together and cannot wait for March 23,” Murphy said. The deadline for registration is on March 14.