Currently in its eleventh consecutive year, the Holy Half is one of the largest student-organized events at the University of Notre Dame.
Annually held in the spring of each year, the Holy Half Marathon tradition began in 2004. That year, about eighty runners participated, raising $1000 for the Louis J. Acompora Foundation. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, proceeds from the consecutive Holy Half Marathons were donated to relief efforts in New Orleans. As the race gathered followers and garnered media attention, the number of participants and the amount of money raised for charity continued to grow.
In 2011, the Holy Half instituted a comprehensive marketing campaign in the surrounding area of South Bend. The campaign elicited an overwhelmingly positive response from locals, prompting a shift in focus to a new partnership with the adjacent community. That year, 1,340 runners raced around the beautiful University of Notre Dame campus, raising over $40,000 for the local South charities Michiana Down Syndrome, St. Adalbert’s School, and the Center for the Homeless. The 2012 race generated over $30,000 for Hope Ministries and the St. Joseph County Public Library, and, in 2013, an additional $30,000 was raised for the Family Justice Center and the Women's Care Center.
Last year’s race continued this tradition of fun and community. The race was expanded to include 1,500 runners and generated over $30,000 to benefit the Kelly Cares Foundation and Girls on the Run Michiana.
The Holy Half has truly become one of the greatest traditions at the University of Notre Dame. Runners take pride not only in training for and completing a 13.1-mile race, but also in making a difference to South Bend on behalf of the University.