Close to 1,100 runners took part in the Woody’s RV World Marathon Sunday in Red Deer. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)

Close to 1,100 runners took part in the Woody’s RV World Marathon Sunday in Red Deer. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)

‘It’s like having your family back’: Woody’s RV World Marathon returns in Red Deer

Hundreds of runners could be seen trekking around the City of Red Deer Sunday morning.

After two years of virtual runs, Woody’s RV World Marathon made its in-person comeback, with about 1,100 participating in a few different events: half and full marathons, as well as 10K, 5K and kids runs.

“It’s the first time since 2019, so we are over the moon to have it back,” said Curtis Marquart, race director.

“The turnout is phenomenal. We have a beautiful day here. We couldn’t ask for anything better to kick it all off again. It’s fantastic.”

It has been frustrating to host in-person events over the past couple of years, Marquart admits.

“But, as frustrating as it was to not have this for two years, to have it back for everybody feels amazing. To see everybody here today feels amazing too. You recognize a lot of these faces because you see them every year. It’s like having your family back,” he said.

The event began just outside of Lindsay Thurber Composite School and the finish line was near École Camille J. Lerouge School right next door. Full and half marathon runners took off at 8 a.m., 10K and 5K runners left 15 minutes later, and the kids race goes at 10:15 a.m.

The course is the same as years past, Marquart said, adding the 5K “family fun run” was a new addition to Woody’s RV World Marathon this year.

“We haven’t done that before. Now we have something for everybody … so there’s no reason for somebody in the family to not do it,” he said.

Even more, people participated in Sunday’s run than the 2019 event, said Marquart.

“We had two years of deferrals, where people’s registrations were deferred to this year. We had that and we had new people who signed up as well,” he said.

An event like this takes months to prepare, Marquart added.

“Our committee, which is a volunteer committee, there’s about 10 of us, we start (planning) in September,” he said.

“We look at the race and we start the planning process there. We figure out all of the details and where we need to go. Then to go from general planning to this, it’s all about details and specifics. It’s about an eight- to nine-month process to put this on.”

The theme for this year’s event was “May Long … you run,” which is a play on the Neil Young song Long May You Run.

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