SCHROON LAKE Athletes from around the country around the world will be in Schroon Lake Sept. 15-16 for the 11th annual Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival.
Past races have attracted runners from Japan, United Kingdom, Egypt, Alaska, California, Oregon and a host of other locales.
Highlighting the festival will be the Adirondack Marathon, a 26.2-mile road race around Schroon Lake, Sept. 16.
The distance festival also includes 5 and 10-kilometer road races in Chestertown Saturday, Sept. 15, and a half marathon in Schroon Lake on Sunday, Sept. 16.
The half marathon is limited to 400 runners, while about 300 runners are expected in the full marathon.
The marathon has been recommended by Runners 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.
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.
People who wish to walk the marathon course can get started at 7 a.m. The course will remain open until 3 p.m.
For a second year there will be a team competition in the marathon. Three-member teams will have their times added to determine the champion.
Peter Heimgartner of New Jersey won the race last year his sixth victory in the Adirondack Marathon. He was clocked in 2 hours, 44 minutes, 37 seconds.
Rebecca Harriman won the womens race in 3:13:47.
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.
Kevin Beck of Ticonderoga won the half marathon last year in 1:16:03.
Katherine Danner won the womens race for a second straight time in a course record 1:23:55.
Patrick Standen won the handcycle competition in 2:01:39.
Marathon weekend begins on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 9:30 a.m. with 5 and 10-kilometer runs through the streets of Chestertown.
Beginning and ending at the Chester Municipal Center, Helpers Fund director Carl Lamm is hoping for more than 300 runners this year.
Individual racers as well as teams can register on Friday, Sept. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. or Saturday morning from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the municipal center.
Proceeds from the 5 and 10-kilometer races go to the Helpers Funds medical hardship program that helps people facing catastrophic circumstances.
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 10 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.