Athletes have walked, sprinted and jogged in YWCA Race Against Racism events across the country for decades. Until this year, though, Hanoverians had to travel to York or Gettysburg to take part.

That changed Saturday as the YWCA of Hanover sponsored its own variation of the national race at Moul Field, said YWCA Executive Director Jody Shaffer. Shaffer hopes the race will become one of the small facility's signature events.

"I was just passionate about making it happen this year," she said.

The event attracted dozens of athletes and fun-runners who, for $25 per person, ran a 5K loop on the Hanover Trolley Trail. The run, though, had a twist: participants were doused in a rainbow of dyed powders as they completed the race.

Manchester resident Dan Klunk was one of the runners participating in Saturday's event.

"It's a great way to stay in shape and it keeps my mental abilities sharp," said Klunk, who works for Snyder's-Lance in Hanover.

For the Hanover YWCA, the event is a step toward expanding program offerings, Shaffer said.

The group currently hosts the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes procession to raise awareness for domestic violence. It also has a facility on West Chestnut Street that offers childcare, English language education, domestic violence support and citizenship classes.

The group recently kicked off its first major fundraising campaign with the hopes of adding more services, including affordable day camps and outreach programs for women and girls, Shaffer said.

She said she hopes the YWCA will be able to raise $50,000 this year, an unprecedented amount for the group.

"We need more than the smaller fundraisers," she said.

Events like the Race Against Racism are one way for the group to work toward that milestone while promoting one of the YWCA's goals: encouraging diversity.

YWCAs across the country hold the event every year on the same day. Races in York and Gettysburg also took place on Saturday.

Racism, Shaffer said, is still an issue in Hanover. The Race Against Racism helps address the issue by showing the public just how many people are dedicated to eliminating prejudice.

"That's how that disease goes away," Shaffer said.

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