With the snow finally melting across the North Woods, it’s time to think about the fast-approaching 23rd annual Journeys Marathon. 

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 register for the event with 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 pickup along with a health expo at the Northland Pines Middle and 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 starting at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow in Riverview Park at 2 p.m.

For those not participating in one of the races, spectators are urged to visit Riverview Park throughout the day May 11. The atmosphere is very festive as friends and relatives cheer runners as they cross the finish line in the park. Music, food and refreshments are also available. 

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.