While there is still snow across the North Woods, the 23rd annual Journeys Marathon is entering the final stretch to the starting line. 

The event, set for Saturday, May 11, features a marathon, half marathon, 13.1-mile power walk and 10K and 5K runs. Now is the perfect time to be training and signing up to participate. Registration brochures are now available at the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

Journeys Marathon, voted one of the Top 5 “Best-Kept Marathon Secrets” by Runner’s World magazine, takes place on North Woods back roads. With a variety of routes to choose from, the event offers something for everyone from competitive runners to people who enjoy natural scenery. Journeys marathon and half marathon are USATF-certified courses and the full marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. The runs are open to runners and walkers.

“Journeys Marathon offers an inspirational, unique and breathtaking course, which starts with a woodland backdrop near Boulder Junction, on rustic roads,” said Natalie Spiess, events coordinator for the chamber. “It meanders through the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest and past many picturesque northern Wisconsin lakes along the way to the finish line in Riverview Park in Eagle River.”

Before the run, the festivities officially start with race registration/packet pick-up along with a health expo at the Northland Pines High School on Friday, May 10, from 5 to 9 p.m. 

Then on race day, the full marathon starts at 8 a.m. with the half marathon and power walk beginning at 9:30 a.m., and the 10K and 5K staring at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow in Riverview Park at 2 p.m.

For those who want to get in some early training, but don’t care to run on snow and ice-covered back roads, the Northland Pines field house is open for running and walking in the morning prior to school starting, periodically during the school day, and after school depending on activities. Walkers and runners can check the school website for open field house hours.

For more information about Journeys Marathon and to register, contact the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at (800) 359-6315 or visit the official Journeys Marathon website at journeysmarathon.org.