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For Courtney McIlvain, running is always on her mind.

The Hanover resident participates in competitive runs in surrounding municipalities, but always wanted to bring a race to the borough.

Now, McIlvain, part of the Hanover Area YMCA's board of directors, put her thought into action and is hosting Hanover's first half marathon, an event to help benefit adults affected by cancer.

The event will take place Oct. 4, starting at the Hanover Area YMCA on George Street, according to a news release from the YMCA.

It is a 13.1-mile run that takes participants throughout Hanover, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing until 11:30 a.m.

McIlvain's sister-in-law, Autumn McIlvain, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 26. However, after going through many treatments, she has been in remission for 11 years.

Autumn McIlvain was always active before she was diagnosed and still kept an exercise plan during her months of treatments, she said.

"I believe it was my ability to just be in the moment and be quiet," Autum McIlvain said regarding how exercise helped her cope. "It just helped me kind of reset; knowing I had the strength to do it even though I was sick made me feel blessed."

She plans to run in the Hanover half marathon in October.

The half marathon supports the YMCA's 12-week program called Livestrong, she said.

The program focuses on strengthening adults affected by cancer through physical and social activities, according to the release.

PHOTOS: Livestrong at the YMCA

More than 60 volunteers and 180 runners have registered for the race.

It's been amazing how much support the community has shown, Courtney McIlvain said.

If you go

What: Hanover's first half marathon

Where: Hanover Area YMCA, 500 George Street, Hanover

When: Oct. 4, 8:30 a.m.

Registration: $65, pretzelcitysports.com

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