SCHROON LAKE - A group of American soldiers will test their mettle in the 13th annual Adirondack Marathon.
More than 50 troops from Fort Drum and seven more from the United States Military Academy at West Point will run the 26.2-mile race in Schroon Lake Sept. 26.
"Eighty-seven Fort Drum soldiers have signed up to train for the Adirondack Marathon," Joel Friedman, race director said. "With deployments and duty considerations, it is anticipated that approximately 50-55 soldiers will toe the line to tackle the hilly route around Schroon Lake.
"While it is difficult to make the necessary time commitment to marathon training under the best of circumstances, it is even more mentally and physically taxing to maintain that pledge when faced with erratic hours, field duty and military uncertainties."
Friedman said the race committee will waive the entry fee for soldier and is seeking housing to assist them.
"To in some small way express the pride we feel at the sacrifices these men and women continue to make in our behalf, Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival officials have instituted a policy to waive the fee for the first 50 active duty military personnel that register ($80 per runner)," he said. "Additionally, every effort is being made to locate low-cost local housing for military entrants and their families."
The marathon is part of the Adirondack Distance Festival. The distance festival also includes 5 and 10-kilometer road races in Chestertown Saturday, Sept. 25, and a half marathon in Schroon Lake on Sunday, Sept. 26.
About 1,600 runner are expected for the two-day event.
Friedman hopes area residents will cheer on the runners.
"Come on out and show your support for these fine men and women and the over 1,000 other runners, by volunteering or cheering for them as they undertake their 26.2 mile journey," he said.