SCHROON LAKE - A record field is expected for the Adirondack Distance Festival.
More than 1,200 runners are expected to toe the line in the half marathon, marathon and marathon relay Sunday, Sept. 26, in Schroon Lake.
"Registration is its highest ever," said Joel Friedman, race director. "The half marathon is sold out and at the rate the marathon registration is running, we very likely will sell it out as well. So we expect 500 registered runners for the marathon, over 600 when we include Team in Training (Leukemia Lymphoma Society) for the half marathon and probably 50-plus marathon relay teams."
The marathon and half marathon are part of the Adirondack Distance Festival. The distance festival also includes 5 and 10-kilometer road races in Chestertown Saturday, Sept. 25.
About 1,600 runner are expected for the two-day event.
Past races have attracted runners from Japan, United Kingdom, Egypt, Alaska, California, Oregon and a host of other locales.
The marathon has been recommended by Runner's World magazine as one of "Eight Great Events to Kick Off the Fall Racing Season." The race was also listed in the book From Fairbanks to Boston, 50 Great U.S. Marathons as one of the top 50 races in the country. Prevention Magazine listed the Schroon race as one of the best "walker-friendly" events in the country.
"We have runners coming from Puerto Rico and Hawaii," Friedman said. "Simone Stoeppler, who is the woman's marathon record holder, is returning from Germany. We also have runners from Belgium, several runners from the UK, many from Canada and others. I'm guessing the majority of states in the U.S. will be represented."
Also running this year will be a group of American soldiers and several West Point cadets.
"My understanding is that 57 Fort Drum soldiers will be running," Friedman said. "It looks like seven cadets from West Point are coming."
Friedman said the race committee will waive the entry fee for soldiers and is seeking housing to assist them.
The marathon, 26 miles, 385 yards, will start at 9 a.m. on Main Street in Schroon Lake. The single loop course circumnavigates Schroon Lake over challenging forest roads with lakeside views until it finishes back at the Schroon Lake town beach.
There is also a two-person marathon relay that gets under way at 9 a.m.
People who wish to walk the marathon course can get started at 7 a.m. The course will remain open until 3 p.m.
The marathoners have company over the second half of the course as the half marathoners will toe the starting line in Adirondack at 10 a.m. to race to the finish in Schroon Lake 13.1 miles later.
Marathon weekend begins on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 9:30 a.m. with 5 and 10-kilometer runs through the streets of Chestertown.
The races begin and end at the Chester Municipal Center.
Individual racers as well as teams can register on Friday, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. or Saturday morning from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the municipal center.
Also participating will be about 500 volunteers, who will man aid stations along the courses and work the finish area.
Packet pick up for marathon and half marathon racers will be Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Schroon Lake Central School.
There will be a running expo at the same time as well as local craft vendors.
There will be a pasta dinner, open to runners and others, that night at 5:30 at Word of Life. Tickets are available at the expo and at the door.