It’s still more than a week away, but things are heating up for the 21st annual Woody’s RV World Marathon.
The course has been finalized, participant registrations are flooding in and volunteer lists are nearly set.
“We’re in the home stretch now, looking forward to it,” said second-year race director Curtis Marquart.
“We have everything sorted and planned out. Now it’s last minute fires. Just ensuring we follow up with volunteers. Making sure all of our volunteers know places and times and where they need to be and their roles.”
Marquart, who has been on the volunteer committee for the last six years, said planning for the race beings every year in early September and from marketing, website, course design and hunting for volunteers, there’s a lot that goes into it. He added it’s been a driven group that’s kept the race moving forward and they all find it easy to stay involved.
“We’re passionate about running and we’re passionate about being fit– we’re passionate about being active and passionate about the community. You throw all those together and it’s an easy fit to get involved,” he added.
Each year, they look for between 250 to 300 volunteers. Already more than 1,000 runners registered with a little over a week to go and organizers expect that to approach the 1250 mark they had in 2018.
“We still have a week to go, so that could easily change. We still have people registering every day and we could easily make that mark again,” Marquart said.
“People watch the weather. Even the day before, we get quite a number of people who come in and pay cash… the week of, we see a surge of volunteer commitments. So it’s typical every year.”
Marquart also noted in addition to late registrations being common, they often see the same runners return year after year, whether it’s to run again or even volunteer.
What draws people back is multi-layered. While some come back for the camaraderie or family interaction, others are drawn to the race because there is a 10k race, along with a half and full marathon.
“We have something for everyone– the marathon for the more serious runners, the half for those who want to go long but not push themselves to the marathon distance,” Marquart added.
“Then the 10k… you have competitive 10k runners all the way to casual joggers. We have everything for everybody. We also have a one-mile kids race.”
It is also a Boston Marathon qualifier, which is another major draw.
“We use it as a means of enticing runners who might be looking for a Boston qualifier and don’t want to go to a big city race where you have to dodge big numbers,” Marquart said.
“Even if you’re not a Boston runner or qualifier in pace, just the fact you’re in a race that’s a Boston qualifier makes people feel great.”
For more information on the race, head to www.reddeermarathon.ca/.