As runners toe the starting line Saturday in Getzendaner Park for the annual Hachie 50, there will be a little more on the line than medals and bragging rights.
There is a trip to Boston waiting at the finish line. Well, kind of, and only if you're fast enough to get there first.
For the first time since its inaugural run, the Hachie 50 is now a Boston Marathon qualifier for those runners who compete in the men's and women's ultramarathon.
Each year, runners from across the globe descend on the Gingerbread City to compete for the top spots in the 50-mile ultramarathon, 50K ultramarathon, full marathon and 50-mile ultra relay races of the Hachie 50, an annual event hosted by the Waxahachie Running Club and Lions Club of Waxahachie.
The three singles races are broken down into four divisions — male, female, masters male (over 40 years of age) and masters female (over 40 years of age). The 50-mile relay race will be split into three divisions — male, female and co-ed — with teams consisting of no more than five members who can each run 10-mile legs.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Lions Club, which provides assistance throughout the year to area youth and schools.
The Hachie 50 planning team recently decided to dedicate this year's race to the late Jennifer Stevens.
Jennifer and her husband, Paul, have long supported both clubs and are avid runners. Paul is also a member of both clubs.
The clubs will have tables set up with cards for people to drop by and leave memories of Jennifer or express support for the family. Each runner will be wearing a sticker in her memory and she will be a focal point for the community event on Saturday, added Kathy Rodrigue, who is one of the event's organizers.
Though runners like Paul Box come from as close as just down the street, others hail from as far away as Hawaii. There is even one runner, Zach Gingerich, who has twice won Arizona's 135-mile ultramarathon, Badwater, which is considered one of the toughest endurance races on the planet.
Gingerich has consistently placed himself among the elite of distance runners since 2009. He once held the 100-mile world record for, though for just a short period, at 13:23 and has been sponsored by Nike. He now works for Nike in Oregon where he trains and runs 120-200 miles each week.
The Hachie 50 was also recently approved by the City of Waxahachie to create a "Hachie 50 Legacy Lane," which will honor each year's Ultra Male and Female winners. The lane will be completed over the next few months.
Races being as early as 5 a.m. Saturday and continue into the afternoon.