With the calendar flipping to February, now is the perfect time to start training for the 23rd annual Journeys Marathon scheduled for Saturday, May 11.

The Journeys Marathon events include a 26.2-mile full marathon, a 13.1-mile half-marathon and power walk, and a 10- and 5-kilometer run/walk. 

The Journeys Marathon and half-marathon are USA Track & Field-certified courses, and the full marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center sponsors the Journeys Marathon.

“Now is the perfect time to be training and signing up to participate,” said Eagle River Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Emerson. “Registration brochures are now available and entries are starting to arrive at our office.”

Journeys Marathon, voted one of the Top Five Best-Kept Marathon Secrets by Runner’s World magazine, will again take place in the beautiful North Woods and offers something for everyone —- competitively and noncompetitively.

“Journeys Marathon offers an inspirational, unique and breathtaking course, which starts with a woodland backdrop near the Boulder Junction area on rustic roads, while meandering through the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and past many scenic, northern Wisconsin lakes along the way to the finish line in Riverview Park in Eagle River,” said Emerson.

The event kicks off at Northland Pines High School in Eagle River Friday night, May 10, with a Health and Wellness Expo from 5 to 8 p.m., which includes 15-minute yoga sessions from 5 to 7 p.m., health and wellness exhibits, sales from local businesses and race registration/packet pickup from 5 to 9 p.m.

Then on May 11, the full marathon starts at 8 a.m., the half-marathon and power walk start at 9:30 a.m. and the 10K and 5K begin at 10 a.m., at the park.

An awards ceremony will follow in the park at 2 p.m., when runners can tell about their accomplishments and share their race-day stories. There will be music by Almost Relevant, social games, food and beverages, plus door prizes.

Those wanting to train without heading outdoors can always run in the Northland Pines High School field house, which features a 200-meter indoor track. People can call the school at (715) 479-4473 for times when the field house is open to the public for running and walking.

For more information about Journeys Marathon or to register, call Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at 1-(800) 359-6315 or visit the official Journeys Marathon website at journeysmarathon.org.