Woody’s RV World Marathon is returning to the May long weekend after a two-year COVID hiatus.
Race director Curtis Marquart said organizers did look at holding a September race last year, but it was such a busy fall race season they decided against it. Some marathons turned to virtual runs, but Woody’s did not.
Set for May 22, it’s the 22nd year for the Woody’s, and this time there’s something new for runners.
“It’s the first year we’re trying out a 5K family fun run,” said Marquart about the marathon that features a 10K, full and half marathons, and a kid’s race.
“There’s something for every member of the family. It’s going to be fantastic.”
He said anyone who registered for the 2020 and 2021 runs, but didn’t request a refund, was automatically registered for the 2022 run. In addition to those runners, there’s been a lot of new registrants for the spring season race. When the weather is mild in late winter, more people get outside and start thinking about joining the run.
“We do get a lot of runners register for our event just because it’s early in the season and it’s a good way to stay in shape during the wintertime. I know our race is definitely considered a beginning point for a lot of runners.”
In 2019, about 1,200 people ran the Red Deer race.
“It’s looking really, really positive right now,” he said about registrations.
Marquart said the majority of runners come from Red Deer and central Alberta, but there are regular contingents from Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie. About half a dozen are travelling from Saskatchewan, some come from British Columbia and southern Alberta, and quite a few from Edmonton and Calgary.
He said runners like that most of the course is on the city’s trail system. Only about five per cent of the run is on city streets.
“Everybody raves about how beautiful our course is,” he said about Woody’s marathon which is an official Boston Marathon qualifier.
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.
“It’s going to be good to be back after a couple years off,” Marquart said.
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