Runners can save money by registering early for the seventh annual Wabash Trace Nature Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, and Marathon Relay September 8th. The savings are $20 for the marathon and half marathon, $5 per person on the relay if they register by July 13. Runners can register in person at Shenandoah Chamber & Industry Association, 619 W. Sheridan Avenue or online at www.getmeregistered.com. Entry forms can also be printed at www.shenandoahiowa.net. Entry forms are also available at Howards Clothing & Sporting Goods and Brown Shoe Fit in Shenandoah and at the Malvern Library and Emerald Isle in Imogene.
Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association joins forces each year with Malvern Area Betterment Association, City of Imogene, and Southwest Iowa Nature Trails to stage the Wabash Trace races. each year.  Proceeds go to these nonprofit organizations and for maintenance of the trail. The races run from Malvern to Shenandoah and Imogene to Shenandoah along the Wabash Trace Nature Trail and through the towns. This year’s races are starting one half hour earlier in order to beat the heat if there is any. The marathon and relay will start at 7:30 a.m. and half marathon will start at 8:30 a.m. The Wabash Marathon is still a Boston Marathon qualifier with U.S.A. Track and Field Association course certification.    
Finished Alder wooden race medallions with logo cutouts by artist Edi Bond of Memories for Life will go to all finishers. Imogene is the featured community this year. They have selected teal blue short sleeved tech shirts with lime green trim and printing runners. Shirts will be provided by County Line Designs in Shenandoah.
Race directors are Rebecca Castle representing the Southwest Iowa Nature Trails and Imogene and Malvern co-directors Tiffany Yakes-Starr and Tara Copeland and Shenandoah co-directors Shelly Warner and Kris Sherman.
Directors are also seeking sponsors for the race. It is a major fundraiser for the organizations. Without sponsors the event would not be possible. This year’s sponsors so far are Eaton Corporation, Doug Meyer Chevrolet, Wilson Ins., The RocStop, Sorensen Auto Plaza, and Eye Care Associates of Southwest Iowa. Also each year in-kind donations come from Pella Corp., The Depot, Emerald Isle, East Mills High School, Shenandoah Community Schools, and city of Shenandoah.  This year the races also received a $1,500 advertising grant from Fremont County tourism to reach surrounding cities out of state. Contact SCIA (712-246-3455, 619 W. Sheridan Avenue, if you can help support the event with monetary donations or in-kind donations.
Volunteers and businesses also man the water stations positioned at approximately every two miles along the course. Shenandoah is responsible for enlisting volunteers for the last five water stations. So far this year First Heritage Bank is the only business that has stepped up to commit to a station. They will pass out water, sports drinks and snacks to runners at 170th Street along the trail. The sports drink, cups and first aid supplies are provided and the sponsoring business or organization provides the water, trash can, snacks and manpower. Open spots are at 410th St., Highway 59 crossing, Wabash Depot in Sportsmans Park, corner of Nishna Rd. and West St. in Shenandoah. Contact SCIA if your business or club can help, email chamber@shenandoahiowa.net or call 246-3455. Imogene area volunteers can call 515-210-0269 and Malvern volunteers may call 712-624-8850. A call for other volunteers for setup, packet distribution, and start/finish line help will come closer to the event.
“Attracting runners from around the U.S. has a positive economic impact on our communities as they stay, eat, shop, and fuel in our area, said Shelly Warner. “Positive reviews, the scenic Wabash Trace Nature Trail course, the hospitality of our community volunteers, and fast times keep runners returning and attracts new runners.”      
In previous years the races have attracted as many as 461 in all three races including 23 teams. There were runners from 26 states and Canada. Participants ranged in age from 8 to 76. Final day to register is September 4th.