Merritt’s annual Country Run will feature a half marathon this year, and with an event that keeps growing, organizers are looking for people to join the planning team.

“It’s really exciting – we’re hoping to double our numbers this year,” said Merritt Country Run organizer Mary Jorgenson. “If we want to double the number of runners, I need to double my committee.”

Jorgenson said she currently has four people on her committee, which meets once a month to plan the race, however, she is hoping to increase that number to ten.

“I want my committee to be fun – planning this race should be a joyful experience, so I don’t want people to be run down,” she said.

With hopes of increasing the number of participants, Jorgenson is hoping for committee members interested in marketing the race, which means spreading the word in Merritt and out to other cities.

“This year we’re putting a high focus on breaking outside of the community,” said Jorgenson. “We hope that this will be another reason people will want to come to Merritt.”

The committee could also use someone interested in seeking business sponsorships, someone to assist with maintaining the website and someone to keep track of team registrations, she said.

Jorgenson admits it has been a lot of work to plan the Merritt Country Run, which is now in its third year, however, she said it has been very rewarding, especially in raising money for the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program, which enables young people to participate in sports.

“It’s very rewarding to know we’re helping kids participate in a sport that they enjoy,” said Jorgenson. “Plus, it’s an event charged with electric energy as you watch the runners cross the finish line.”

The 2012 Merritt Country Run is scheduled for June 10, 2012. The next committee meeting will be on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in being involved with the planning committee can email Jorgenson at [email protected] or leave a message at 250-378-8219.