In fact, dash on down to the race finish line area in front of
"We're having fun trying to grow it," said marathon director
The marathon itself is held, as it always has been, on Sunday morning, smack in the middle of a three-day
All of this started when Arnold and his wife, Peg, who had founded the marathon and then bowed out of a few years, took up the reins again three years ago.
"When we took it back, we decided we wanted to grow the event more,"
The fitness expo features exhibitors for health-conscious, healthy lifestyle and running-related goods and services.
Also added in recent years have been the mascot races, the kids marathon, the diaper dash and the toddler trot. A kids' play zone has three large inflatables and other activities. The idea, Arnold said, is to bring more families downtown to take part in marathon-related activities. And it has worked. "We've experienced that on Saturday," he said. "It's a pretty large attendance of families."
Along the way, kids are getting hooked on running. Up to 900 kids are expected to take part in Saturday's kids' marathon, and another 150 to 200 will race in the Diaper Dash and Toddler Trot. "They'll finish at the same finish line as the marathon," Arnold said.
Afterward, the kids can watch the mascot races, which will involve at least 10 mascots.
For adults on Saturday, a happy hour, with free beer, follows the 5k walk/run.
Sunday's main race starts at
But that's not the end of the fun. Even the most exhausted runners will have recovered by
In addition to providing activities for the whole family on the holiday weekend, the marathon is enticing runners and their families -- at least 20 percent of whom come from outside the area -- to spend the weekend in
"We're in a good situation," Arnold said. "We've got a lot of hotels, and
With all of this going on, Arnold isn't done yet with expanding the marathon weekend activities. "We've kicked around the idea to see if anybody would put on an art in the park, maybe a flea market, maybe expand the farmers market for that weekend," he said. "We throw out different ideas every year. We want to get people to come downtown and partake of the marathon and the events. We're proud of it."
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