Registration for this year’s events surrounding the Mill Race Marathon is down 14 percent compared to this time last year.
Numbers are down 18 percent for the full marathon and 25 percent for the Kids Fun Run. The Kids Fun Run had 1,072 entrants in 2013, 910 in 2014, 1,276 in 2015 and 986 last year, but only 107 had registered for this year’s event as of Wednesday.
“Historically, we register the majority of Kids Fun Run participants very late in the pre-race timeline, and this year should be consistent,” said Dave Venable of the Mill Race Marathon organizing committee. “So, 15 percent of our expected registration is not really a surprise, but is definitely something we should watch in the next month.”
Venable said as schools start back in August, he would expect more emphasis from the Mill Race Marathon/Kids Fun Run committee on reaching out to the schools personally. He said Randy Stafford has been part of this effort in the past in effectively promoting healthy lifestyles at the grade school level.
The Kids Fun Run is scheduled for Sept. 22. The marathon, half-marathon and 5K will be Sept. 23.
“The Kids Fun Run has been a tremendous success in years past, and we host one of the largest Kids Fun Run events in the Midwest,” Venable said. “This year should be on track for a repeat performance, where we reach around 1,000 participants. As families become more accustomed to the registration process and the (Kids Fun Run) event logistics and flexibility, they tend to register later. The same thing happens with runners of other events.”