The HERO Half Marathon and 10K has partnered with the Indiana State Police to raise funds to purchase protective vests for 10 new K9's, a cost amounting to $7,500.

"My husband is a state trooper, and he just got a new K9," explained Nicole Caylor, race director "They just graduated from the K9 academy, and his dog, as well as the other nine, do not have protective vests." Caylor saw this as an opportunity to give back to the community.

The race will be hosted on Saturday, Sept. 27, and will take participants on a scenic run through the Indiana Dunes State Park while giving back to the community. This year's HERO Half Marathon and 10K is also a Gold Cup Race for the Calumet Region Striders. Gold Cup points can be scored for age group participants 15 and older.

Online registration for the HERO Half Marathon and 10K is open through Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Phone and email registration will be accepted after online registration closes, and in-person registration will be accepted from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the pre-race packet pick-up location, Running Vines Winery, 119 S. Calumet in downtown Chesterton. The half marathon costs $75, and the 10K costs $40. Both races will step off at 8 a.m.

All finishers will receive a medal, and there will be awards for the overall male and female masters, top 3 males and top 3 females, top 3 Clydesdale and Athena, along with the following age group category in each race: 11-12, 13-14, 15-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, and 80+.

"There is no course as unique and beautiful as this half marathon course at one of the premiere attractions in the Midwest - the Indiana Dunes State Park. We are excited to be back for year number three and to partner with such a wonderful charity this year," said Crystal Sands, race founder.

In addition to the HERO Half Marathon and 10K, Running Vines Winery will be hosting a give back night on Wednesday, Sept. 23. A portion of all sales from that evening will go toward the purchase of the K9 protective vests. The winery will also host a Canvas for K9's event. Interested participants can register at

"I think it is a very worthy cause. I think the officers and their dogs need all the help and support they can get at this time," stated Caylor. "Dogs can help in all different situations. They can help track a lost child; they help keep the officer safe."

To learn more about the HERO Half Marathon and 10K, visit To make a donation for the bullet and stab proof K9 vests, the public can mail a check or money order designated to the K9 vests to Lighthouse Events and Marketing, 9220 Hartwell Drive, Evansville, IN 47725.