St. Cloud River Runners Present…

RUNNERS PUMPED FOR LOCAL MARATHON

By Amy Bowen

Published: March 14, 2008

ST. JOSEPH If you were planning to run in the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, your time has run out.

Registration for the marathon closed in February with about 100 runners, race director Sharon Hobbs said. This is the marathon's first year.

"I was surprised how fast it filled. I think it is because people plan their year out around Jan. 1. You make a commitment because you train for three months," Hobbs said.

"At first, I thought I would be happy with 20 (runners); then it was 50 and now, 100."

The May 10 race will start in Holdingford and follow the Lake Wobegon Trail to St. Joseph.

"I want it to be good, so people want to come back," Hobbs said.

Barb Gregory of Richmond will be in the race her first marathon after she started running about four years ago.

"My three sons are runners, and my husband runs, too," Gregory said. "And I was sitting home getting fat."

Gregory estimated it will take her between five and a half to six hours to finish.

Gregory will not be alone as a first-time marathoner. Many participants estimated it will take them three and a half to four-and-a-half hours to finish, Hobbs said.

"That tells you that this will not be an elite marathon," Hobbs said. "We won't have a lot of fast runners."

Hobbs advertised the race on the Web. Most of the runners in the marathon are from the state, but some are from Canada, Texas, Maine and California, she said.

"There's a lot of people who like to run the smaller, more personal (marathons)," Hobbs said.

She hopes the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon will grow in the future. "Maybe next year we'll have 200, and it'll grow from there."