Over 1,100 runners will thunder down Red Deer trails on Sunday to reach the finish line of Woody’s RV World Marathon.
“We’re going full-steam ahead right now,” said race director Curtis Marquart on Friday as organizers prepare for the marathon that has not been held for two years due to COVID-19.
“People have been cooped up for a couple of years. They want to get out there.”
In 2019, about 1,200 people ran the Red Deer race so interest in the event remains strong, he said.
It’s the 22nd year for the marathon, and the first year a 5K family fun run has been included at the event that already has a 10K run, full and half marathons, and a kid’s race.
Online registration is now closed, but more runners can still sign up in person at the race package pickup, located at École Camille J. Lerouge School Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’re not going to turn anyone away.”
He said anyone interested in volunteering also has time to get involved.
“We’re always looking for volunteers, especially for course marshals.”
Marquart added volunteers are exceptionally important.
“Without them we don’t have an event. Everyone on the race committee — we’re all volunteers.”
Half and full marathon runners will take off from the starting line at 8 a.m., followed by 10k and 5k runners at 8:15 a.m., and the kids race at 10:30 a.m.
Marquart said there are some great spots along the route where the public can cheer on the athletes — Heritage Ranch, Bower Ponds, the CPR pedestrian bridge and of course the finish line near École Camille J. Lerouge School.
“The big spot is the finish line where people can have their families there to celebrate with them.”
Some marathons held virtual runs, during the first two years of the pandemic, but Woody’s did not.
“We are ecstatic and over the moon to be having this event back again.”
Woody’s marathon will raise money for Red Deer Hospice Society again this year. Runners can choose to make a donation and receive a tax receipt.
For more information about Woody’s RV World Marathon visit www.reddeermarathon.ca where people can also find out how to volunteer at the event.