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FARMINGTON – Over the past 33 years, the Shiprock Marathon has served as a way to promote active lifestyles.

Featuring a marathon, half marathon, 5k, 10k and kids marathon, the Shiprock Marathon is one of seven races that make up the Navajo Parks Race Series this year. The race series was started last year and featured three races, including the Navajo Code Talkers 29K, the Asaayi Mountain Runs and the Monument Valley Marathon.

"We're just trying to create a Navajo Nation where there's a lot of healthy, positive events going on," said Tom Riggenbach, the Shiprock Marathon race director.

The Shiprock Marathon, which will be May 6-7, is the second event of this year's race series, which began in February with the Little Colorado River Gorge Half Marathon in Arizona.

Last year's Shiprock Marathon featured the event's largest field ever, with more than 2,000 runners participating. Riggenbach said he expects this year to attract even more runners.

While the marathon has grown, the event also has seen an increase in participants in the kids marathon. The kids marathon began four years ago with 82 children, and this year, more than 450 children are registered, according to Riggenbach.

Ellie Yazzie, the co-coordinator of the kids marathon, said the children started logging miles in January with the goal of having run at least 25 miles by May 6. She said some of the more dedicated runners will have logged more than 70 miles.

"On marathon Friday, they run the final mile together," Riggenbach said.

Yazzie said the children range in age from toddlers to 13 years old. She said the only requirement is that the children are able to run the final 1.2 miles together. Several schools around the Four Corners area, including Ojo Amarillo Elementary School, have registered students to run the kids marathon, Yazzie said.

"It's really great to see a lot of kids taking up the healthier lifestyle," Yazzie said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

If you go

Health and wellness expo: Noon to 6 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the Shiprock Youth Complex at 4198 U.S. Highway 491

Kids marathon: 5 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the Shiprock Youth Complex

5K trail run and 10K race: 6 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the Shiprock Youth Complex

Marathon and marathon relay: 7 a.m. Saturday, May 7. Shuttles to the start line will leave the Shiprock Youth Complex from 5:55 a.m. to 8:35 a.m.

Half marathon: 8 a.m. Saturday, May 7. Shuttles to the start line will leave the Shiprock Youth Complex from 5:55 a.m. to 8:35 a.m.

Register: racesonline.com/events/shiprock-marathon

More info: shiprockmarathon.com

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