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Organizers hope annual Run for Tara Sunday will be biggest yet

  • left Maureen Sheehan and Mary Courtney organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. <br/><br/>

    left Maureen Sheehan and Mary Courtney organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon.

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  • <br/>left  Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. In the background is Sally Donnell, another volunteer helping to get ready.<br/><br/><br/><br/>


    left Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. In the background is Sally Donnell, another volunteer helping to get ready.



    Purchase photo reprints »

  • back left is  Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. In the front right  is Sally Donnell, another volunteer helping to get ready.<br/><br/><br/><br/>

    back left is Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. In the front right is Sally Donnell, another volunteer helping to get ready.



    Purchase photo reprints »

  • left  Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>

    left Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon.




    Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sally Donnell, organizes T shirts for the Run For Tara at the Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. <br/><br/><br/>

    Sally Donnell, organizes T shirts for the Run For Tara at the Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon.


    Purchase photo reprints »

  • left Maureen Sheehan and Mary Courtney organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. <br/><br/>
  • <br/>left  Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. In the background is Sally Donnell, another volunteer helping to get ready.<br/><br/><br/><br/>
  • back left is  Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. In the front right  is Sally Donnell, another volunteer helping to get ready.<br/><br/><br/><br/>
  • left  Mary Courtney and Maureen Sheehan organize raffle prizes before the race at Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>
  • Sally Donnell, organizes T shirts for the Run For Tara at the Sheehan's home in Southampton Tuesday afternoon. <br/><br/><br/>

— Organizers of the annual Run for Tara are hoping this year’s event will raise even more money to fight eating disorders than last year’s record-breaking run.

The cross-country 5-kilometer race has been held for 11 years on Nov. 11, the birthday of the late Tara Sheehan, a former Southampton woman who died in 2002 after a 10-year battle with anorexia.

Last year’s event was the biggest ever, raising approximately $10,000 and drawing nearly 300 participants, said John Sheehan, Tara Sheehan’s father.

“Attendance has been creeping up every year, but last year was great and we’re hoping that because this year’s race is on a Sunday, we’ll be able to break that record,” said Sheehan, who lives in Southampton.

The $10,000 — raised through the race, a raffle and donations from area businesses and residents — was split between the Tara Sheehan Scholarship at the Walden Center in Northampton, which treats people with eating disorders, and the Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association, which visited area schools to educate students about the disease.

Last year’s Oct. 30, snowstorm damaged trees along the cross-country course on the Williston campus and Nonotuck Park, so race organizers had to improvise a new route at the last minute that avoided the most damaged areas.

Sheehan said he thought that might happen again this year. “We were really worried about Hurricane Sandy, because it’s almost a year to date that the snowstorm hit and we were down there, dragging branches off the course,” he said. “But it seems like things will be fine.”

The race starts on Galbraith Field at The Williston Northampton School, where Tara Sheehan was a cross-country star while a student. A kids’ quarter-mile run starts at 11 a.m., followed by a 5-kilometer walk at 11:15 and a 5-kilometer run at 11:45 a.m.

Registration costs $20; $10 for students. The kids’ race is free.

For information, visit www.runfortara.org.

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