Did the Lost Dutchman really run a marathon?
Many say that he did, but that’s as unknown as the location of his lost goldmine. What is known is that in 2001, a small group of Apache Junction citizens decided to organize a marathon — a marathon that is now celebrating 20 years strong on Feb. 14, 2021.
The Lost Dutchman Marathon — or LDM as runners know it — is recognized as one of the top 10 small marathons in America; yup, right here in Apache Junction.
A totally volunteer effort, the dedicated local volunteer group is a 501(c)(3) registered entity and has donated more than $600,000 to youth-related charities and clubs in Apache Junction. A record $70,000 was donated to community youth programs in 2019 alone.
It’s that community-based organization, the wonderful volunteers and the mesmerizing start at the foot of the Peralta escarpment that are some of the reasons that motivate runners to come from all over the world to Apache Junction to run up to 26.2 miles to the finish at Prospector Park. Oh yes, our very fine running weather on President’s Day weekend has a bit of a draw as well.
This year, to support the COVID-19 initiative, the LDM will be a virtual race with unique opportunities for runners and wannabe runners to get involved. Visit lostdutchmanmarathon.org for details.
So, if you have a chance to support the LDM in any way — maybe just committing to a running program that will enable you to finish one of the distances (2 miles to 26.2 miles) — please do it now. You will feel especially good for doing so.
Editor’s note: Darch Oborne is a Lost Dutchman Marathon board member.