Running the Quad-City Times Bix 7 is an arduous task: It's a long, hilly course and usually hot.

To give runners a little boost, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral will host a Blessing of the Soles prayer service at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Runners, volunteers and spectators may have their shoes blessed as part of the race day service.

This first-time event will be held outdoors (weather permitting) in front of the cathedral's main entrance — the big red doors facing Main Street. Participants may park in the Palmer Drive lot off 11th Street, the Rev. John Horn said.

The cathedral is located at 12th and Brady streets, on the Bix 7 route at the top of the Brady Street hill. The service will be done by 7 a.m. to allow participants to reach the race's starting line in downtown Davenport on time. 

The idea was suggested by senior warden Kim Thomsen, who is also a runner, Horn said.

The service has a help-others component as well. Participants and anyone else who is interested are invited to bring their used running shoes to donate to Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that redistributes shoes to people who need them.

Even used shoes are better than no shoes at all, Horn said.

                                                                                 — Alma Gaul