Runners take off at the beginning of the 2023 North Olympic Discovery Marathon at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn. The two days of running events begins Saturday with the marathon and half-marathon Sunday. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Runners take off at the beginning of the 2023 North Olympic Discovery Marathon at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn. The two days of running events begins Saturday with the marathon and half-marathon Sunday. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

RUN THE PENINSULA: North Olympic Discovery Marathon returns this weekend

PORT ANGELES — Saturday and Sunday is North Olympic Discovery Marathon weekend, as the jewel event of the Run the Peninsula series will bring hundreds of people to the Olympic Peninsula for two days of running and fun.

The Peninsula News and Sequim Gazette are among the title sponsors of the Run the Peninsula series, and the presenting sponsors are Olympic Medical Center, 7 Cedars Casino and First Fed. The event is put on by the Port Angeles Marathon Association.

Race Director Victoria Jones said the race numbers are strong. She said there appears to be about 50 more marathon runners this year than last. About 325 people are signed up for the marathon and another 75 for the marathon walk for 400 total, with registration still open.

There’s about 500 people signed up for Saturday’s 5K and 10K races. Jones said by the time registration closes, a total of 600-650 people could be signed up. Another 20 marathon relay teams have signed up so far. In all, more than 2,000 adults and children are expected to run in the various races.

Registration remains open right up to the start of the race, and people can register on-site up until 15 minutes before the race begins. The 5K and 10K begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, the kids’ marathon at 3 p.m. Saturday, the marathon at 7:30 a.m. Sunday and the half-marathon at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

The top marathon finishers are expected to start showing up at the city pier finish line between 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Sunday.

To register, people can go to www.tinyurl.com/2024NODMregister. The cost is $15 for the kids’ marathon, $45 for the 5K and 10K, $90 for the half-marathon, $110 for the marathon and to $350 for a marathon relay team.

The weather is expected to be overcast and cool this weekend with some showers possible, though mostly late in the day on both Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures are expected to reach the upper 50s. Jones said this is perfect for runners. “I expect to see a lot of personal records,” she said.

All the races used to be held on one day. They were split up over two days during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce crowd sizes. It worked so well that the event was moved to an entire weekend of races.

The 5K, 10K and 1.2-mile kids’ marathon (kids are encouraged to log 25 miles of running before Saturday to complete a full 26.2-mile marathon) will all start at the Port Angeles City Pier and go along the Olympic Discovery Trail and back to the pier Saturday. Children ages 1 to 14 are welcome to run in the kids’ marathon and parents can accompany their children.

The marathon begins at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn and the route takes people west through Sequim and Agnew to the finish line at the Port Angeles City Pier. The half-marathon begins at the Agnew soccer fields and also goes along the Olympic Discovery Trail.

As always, there will be a beer garden at the city pier from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a U.S. Navy band providing music. There will also be a pasta dinner at the Elwha Heritage Center in Blyn put on by the Port Angeles Lions Club from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday for marathon runners.

The NODM, which began in 2003, is a USA Track and Field- certified course and a Boston Marathon qualifier.

The NODM is part of the five-race Run the Peninsula series, which includes the Elwha Bridge run in February, the Sequim Railroad Bridge run in April and the Jamestown Glow run in Blyn in December. Run the Peninsula has added a Spruce Railroad Trail 5K/10K run along the north shore of Lake Crescent on Oct. 19.

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