16th annual Lost Dutchman Marathon this weekend

Runners from the 2015 Lost Dutchman Marathon participated in a 26.2-mile full marathon where the course took them between Gold Canyon and Apache Junction. Participants in it or other running and walking events this year can receive a discount if they register by Feb. 12. (Courtesy of Rick Hardina)

The 16th annual Lost Dutchman Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K Trail Run and 2 Mile Fun Run return to Apache Junction and Gold Canyon on Sunday, Feb. 19. Runners are welcome to participate in the 26.2-mile marathon, while walkers and runners may register for the shorter distances.

All proceeds from the nonprofit Lost Dutchman events benefit local youth groups and organizations. To date the Lost Dutchman races have contributed more than $478,000 to these causes.

The full 26.2-mile marathon begins at the Peralta Trailhead, winds its way throughout Gold Canyon then proceeds along scenic back roads to the finish line in Prospector Park in Apache Junction, while the shorter races originate from and return to Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction.

The Lost Dutchman Running and Fitness Exposition will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Apache Junction Multigenerational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. Runners, walkers and their friends are all welcome to attend this free sports, running and fitness event where they can register for any of the events and pick up their bib number and T-shirt.

All race registrants receive post-race refreshments and a long-sleeved Lost Dutchman T-shirt. In addition, all finishers in the marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 8K trail run will receive a colorful, high-quality finisher medal.

Those interested in participating in any of the events may register on the Lost Dutchman Marathon website: www.lostdutchmanmarathon.org. Participants may also register for events at the Lost Dutchman Expo on Feb. 18 in Apache Junction.

Editor’s note: Rick Hardina is a volunteer with the Lost Dutchman Marathon.

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