The Marathon2Marathon is back on and scheduled for Oct. 23, 2021. Here, Pam LeBlanc runs the 10K version of the race in 2018. Andrew Lochbaum photo

Running a marathon on city streets is one thing, but imagine knocking out 26.2 miles through the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas.

After a hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Marathon2Marthon is back on, race organizers announced this week. The full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K will take place Oct. 23 this year on a gradually downhill course without much vehicle traffic. Did I mention the climate is dry, too?

I did the 10K a few years ago, and loved the experience.

All four distances start north of Marathon on Highway 385, and finish in the heart of the tiny town, the Gateway to the Big Bend.

This year’s event will feature a pasta dinner Friday night at The Gage hotel, a barbecue lunch at the finish line and a dance and star party at the Marathon Motel on Saturday, plus a gospel brunch at the French Grocer on Sunday.

I did the 10K version of the race on a whim in 2018, and loved running past cactus and road runners as I trotted toward Marathon. Plus, where else (in the United States anyway) can you take a picture next to an official city sign that says “Marathon,” when you’re running a marathon?

For the first time this year, the race won’t finish on Highway 90. Instead, it will end in front of the Community Center on a side street.

Registration is $115 for the full marathon, $90 for the half, $60 for the 10K and $50 for the 5K. (Late fees kick in on Oct. 20.) Registration includes free transportation to the appropriate start line, along with a shirt and a finishers medal.

To register, go to All proceeds will benefit the Marathon Health Center. For more information about the race, go to

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