Spectators are being urged to come out to Riverview Park in Eagle River to cheer on the runners in the 23rd annual Journeys Marathon this Saturday, May 11.

The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center expects about 800 runners from more than a dozen states to register for the Journeys Marathon to be held on the back roads of Vilas County, according to chamber Executive Director Kim Emerson.

For the second straight year, there will be a postrace party in the park with live music and festive social games at the finish line for runners, spectators, volunteers and everyone that would like to come. The awards ceremony will follow races at 2 p.m., with awards being given to the male and female overall winners of the full and half-marathon; first, second and third in each age group of the full, half-marathon and power walk; and first, second and third for overall female and male in the 5K and 10K.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to enjoy a spring day full of excitement and activities for everyone,” said Emerson, noting the forecast is calling for temperatures in the mid-50s. “The runners really appreciate the fans cheering them on at the finish line.”

Journeys Marathon will spring into action Friday night, May 10, from 5 to 9 p.m. with runners’ registration at Northland Pines High School. There also will be a health and wellness expo at the school from 5 to 8 p.m. with shopping and free yoga sessions. The public is invited to the expo.

The full marathon will start at 8 a.m. Saturday on Highway K between Star Lake and Boulder Junction; the half-marathon/power walk will start at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Highway K and East Buckatabon Lake Road; and the 10- and 5-kilometer runs will start at 10 a.m. at Riverview Park in Eagle River. 

All races are open to runners and walkers and there is still time to register, remind chamber officials. For those serious long-distance runners, the marathon course has been sanctioned and measured and is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Race officials remind participants that strollers, bicycles (other than course safety bikes) and pets are not allowed on any of the race courses at any time.

For more information about Journeys Marathon and related activities, call the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at (715) 479-6400 or visit journeysmarathon.org.

Journeys Marathon is a great way to kick off spring in the North Woods and Riverview Park will be the place to be this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plan on stopping at the park to cheer on the racers, young and old, as they cross the finish line. It’s a great atmosphere!