WhistleStop Marathon has been running 25 years

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The WhistleStop Marathon in Ashland has been running for 25 years now.

It’s a milestone worth celebrating, Ashland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and Race Director Mary McPhetridge said.

“Really, Ashland just turns itself into this real festive community,” she said. “It’s wonderful to be in the community for this festival and for the marathon because everybody really engages in it, and I love that.”

She said it takes about 500 volunteers to set up and run race weekend.

“We always say that if you’re not running or sponsoring or volunteering, then you’re probably babysitting for somebody’s kids that are,” McPhetridge said.

Numbers look good for the 25th running of the WhistleStop, especially since the Twin Cities Marathon was canceled shortly before it was scheduled to start in early October.

And from 26.2 to 3.1 miles, all the races are now under one roof.

“Typically, we’ve always had another group, the Ashland Library, that’s done a 5k/10k. And now it’s all under one roof, which is really nice for the runners. It’s nice just to have it all under one roof so that you can do all the coordination and volunteers and that kind of stuff,” McPhetridge said.

After the race, Ashland is bringing back Blues & Brews for the post-race party. From 6-8 p.m. in the Bay Area Civic Center parking lot, there will be live music and 20 breweries from which to sample.

McPhetridge suggests spectators check the maps on their website to find the best places to see your runner.