Mickelson Trail Marathon to feature 3,400 runners

Last year’s Mickelson Trail Marathon also included 50 marathon relays, in which five individuals teamed to cover the 26.2-mile distance. Runners in that relay covered many age groups. Pioneer file photo

DEADWOOD — Sunday’s Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon will feature 3,400 registered runners for the marathon, half marathon, and five-person marathon relay.

All three races begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 7, and end in the Sherman Street parking lot, at the Mickelson Trailhead in Deadwood.

Event organizer Emily Wheeler said that 3,400 is about the maximum number of runners the trail can reasonably accommodate.

She added the races have run at full capacity for the past several years.

Wheeler was asked what contributes to this event’s steady growth.

“The beauty of the Black Hills,” Wheeler said. “A lot of people who run marathons also travel, and they are looking for a destination.”

Rochford is the starting line for the 26.2-mile marathon and marathon relay. Sleep Hollow Road off Rochford Road is the starting line for the 13.1-mile half marathon.

The half marathon winners and top placers are expected to arrive in Deadwood between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Marathon winners and top placers could finish between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Runners in this year’s field will represent 44 states, Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Those accustomed to seeing Spearfish resident Jerry Dunn at the finish line will again have that chance on Sunday. He will congratulate the runners after they complete their endeavor.

Some entrants also run for various causes. Runners representing South Dakota-based Team Beef will attend, as will some for “Team Jack” that is raising money for children’s brain tumor research.

Black Hills Habitat for Humanity serves as this event’s official charity for the eighth year.

Wheeler said several runners are supporting this cause and have donated.

Deadwood’s Celebrity Hotel will sponsor a post-race gathering from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Sunday races end a weekend of footraces set to start Saturday, June 6. The Fast 5-kilometer, Kids’ 1-kilometer, and Kids’ marathon races begin at 1 p.m. in the Sherman Street parking lot, at the Mickelson Trailhead in Deadwood.

“Over the years, we have run like a well-oiled machine,” Wheeler said in describing event organization that features 300 volunteers. “We feel like we have the basics perfected.”

Sunday’s weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 70 degrees.

Wheeler said running conditions would be ideal, but she recommends bringing bug spray for mosquitoes and other pests.

“It’s also important to stop and have water at the aid stations,” she said.

Call Wheeler at (605)390-6137 for more information or e-mail her at emily@runcrazyhorse.com.

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