The annual Two Bear Marathon is unveiling a new course this year and is also now an official qualifier for the famed Boston Marathon.
The marathon and half marathon are Sunday, Sept. 10 in Whitefish. The races begin and end at Depot Park in downtown.
The Wave Aquatic and Fitness Center, the not-for-profit organizer behind the race, is hoping to grow the marathon into a larger community event with a fresh, more accessible course. Organizers are designing a course accessible to a variety of runners. Gone is the rough terrain and trail portion that made the previous course especially challenging. In its place, a new route and a bigger vision for the race. The full 26.2-mile run, along with the 13.1-mile half marathon, will take place entirely on paved roadways.
“Previous races were not optimal for the average runner. Our focus this year is that everyone comes and has a great time, whether they are a seasoned runner or taking part for the first time,” Jacob Deitz, Two Bear Marathon’s race director, said.
This change may not seem monumental for those outside the sport. However, for the running community, it opens up significant opportunities to grow the race and generate greater positive impact for the community, according to Deitz.
Preparing for the prestigious accreditation to become a Boston qualifier was not an easy task, Deitz said.
“It was a very meticulous process,” he said.
Deitz spent more than 20 hours on the course, measuring distance and elevations. All those hours were worth it, he says.
To register for the race, visit www.twobearmarathon.org.