Marathon registration reaches new high

The popularity of the Whidbey Island Marathon and affiliate races is climbing to new heights this year.

More than 3,100 people have registered for marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K races, which is up from 1,749 last year.

That’s the most participants in the event’s 13-year history, race director Tamra Sipes said.

“Our early bird promotion started the ball rolling,” Sipes said. “We got 1,500 runners within a month and a half. It just continued to grow.”

All five of the running events will take place Sunday, April 13, beginning with the marathon at 7:15 a.m. at Deception Pass State Park.

Runners will travel over the bridge and finish at Windjammer Park on the Oak Harbor waterfront.

The bridge will be closed to traffic at 7:10 a.m. then will reopen at  7:45 a.m.

The half-marathon will start at 8:30 a.m. on Beeksma Drive on North Whidbey, followed 15 minutes later by runners in the 10K and 5K.

The kids 1K will begin at 11:30 a.m., or immediately following the awards ceremony at Windjammer Park. That event will feature a school challenge. The elementary school that has the most kids present on race day will receive a $500 check from Blue Fox Drive-Inn.

About 1,930 runners have registered for the half-marathon, and roughly 640 for the full marathon, Sipes said. They will be greeted by more than 600 volunteers helping put on the event., a Boston Marathon qualifier.

At the finish, “Woodrush” will play live music. Runners in all races will receive a T-shirt and finisher medal.

A free Expo will take place from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday at North Whidbey Middle School in Oak Harbor, where runners may still register.

Sipes said good race reviews in national running publications helped registrations soar.


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