Fourth Annual Run Attracts Out-of-Staters

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With more than half of the currently registered runners coming from out of state, next weekend’s St. Joe River Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K has the potential to be the most traveled-to event in its history.

“We have people coming from Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Alaska and even Hawaii,” marathon committee member Devon Barta said. “It is exciting to see people participating from so far away.”

The race has been a popular draw since its inception in 2011 when it boasted a participation of more than 500 runners. Each year numbers have hovered close to the inaugural race’s count and has always been popular with runners traveling from out-of-state, according to Mrs. Barta.

Mandi Mueller (far left), Toni Anderson (#479) and Jack Crane (far right) were among the runners to participate in the 2013 5K.

Mandi Mueller (far left), Toni Anderson (#479) and Jack Crane (far right) were among the runners to participate in the 2013 5K.

“And I think that’s a testament to our town, in general,” she said. “I’ve had runners tell me that they travel back here because of the beauty of the course and kindness of our people. As far as I’m concerned, that’s all because of our volunteers; the ones who work to put the race together for the six months leading up to race day and those who work along the course on the day itself.”

It takes close to 80 volunteers, Mrs. Barta said, and nearly all of them return each year to help. She believes that’s what gives the race its charm and attracts participants each year.

This year’s event is June 8 and begins with an early-start marathon at 6:30 a.m. The rest of the races start at 8 a.m. with the rest of the marathon runners and continue in staggered sections; half marathon at 8:15 and the 5K at 8:30. The cost to participate in the marathon is $60, half marathon is $55 and the 5K, $20. Registration is open right up to the starting gun, but prices increase on race day.

The start and finish line will be at the Cormana Building. Awards ceremonies follow later in the morning. Kiwanis will be serving food at the finish line; this year’s menu includes hamburgers.

Coy Sands and several others participated in the 2013 SuperKid River Run. Coy was the first one to finish the course.

Coy Sands and several others participated in the 2013 SuperKid River Run. Coy was the first one to finish the course.

The day before the marathon, on June 7, the third annual SuperKid River Run will start at 11 a.m. Participants 12 years of age and younger may participate and are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero. Cost is $10 (with no price increase for runners who register on race day), and adults may run with their children at no cost.

More information and registration forms can be found at the marathon’s official site, here.

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