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Whidbey Island Marathon is in the bag

Tamra Sipes and Cindy Gailey stuff about 2,000 goody bags for race participants Tuesday at City Hall. Oak Harbor’s marathon weekend starts Friday, with the race on Sunday. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Tamra Sipes and Cindy Gailey stuff about 2,000 goody bags for race participants Tuesday at City Hall. Oak Harbor’s marathon weekend starts Friday, with the race on Sunday.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Volunteers in Oak Harbor are preparing for the arrival of runners from all over the nation who will descend on Oak Harbor for the Whidbey Island Marathon this weekend.

Workers were busy Tuesday morning stuffing some 2,000 “goody bags” to distribute to race participants. Scores of others will be busy all weekend keeping the races organized, helping runners and otherwise seeing that the city-owned marathon is a success.

Kicking things off will be the Marathon Health and Fitness Expo at the Oak Harbor High School gym Saturday, April 10, from noon to 8 p.m. The fair is free, includes about 30 booths and is open to all runners, island visitors and community members.

The real logistical challenge will hit island motorists Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. as more than 1,700 runners take to the pavement, starting near the Cornet Bay Marina. The course is open, which means most roads will be open to traffic and runners alike.

Law enforcement from the Washington State Patrol, the Oak Harbor Police Department, the Island County Sheriff’s Office and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station security will patrol the event to manage traffic and keep runners safe.

Post-race festivities include a beer garden and hot and cold food vendors. For a complete description of the full and half marathon courses, go to the marathon Web site at www.whidbeyislandmarathon.com.

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