It's less than two months until Drumheller distance runners welcome their counterparts from all over Alberta and Saskatchewan to the valley for the annual Dinosaur Valley Half Marathon.
Organizing committee spokesman Becky Kowalchuk says registrations are on par with, if not slightly above last year's numbers.
"People do the 5K Family Fun Run and they think okay, next year we'll do the 10, and we've seen people progress like that," she explained. "They get their kids to go with them and all of a sudden, those kids that walked for the first couple of years say Mom, let's do the 10K, we can do that, and away they go."
Last year's Dinosaur Half, the 8th annual, attracted about 450 runners for the three race distances from as far away as Waterloo, Ontario, although the majority of 21K racers are from the greater Calgary area.
"The majority do (visit), although we do have a contingent from the area that participate every year," outlined Kowalchuk. "But the majority is from out of town."
She believes the scenery, especially for the Half Marathon, which runs through the hills around the Royal Tyrrell Museum, is a big draw.
"To come through McMullen Island on that pathway and then up through the hills at the museum and back, it's beautiful," gushed Kowalchuk. "It's so much nicer than a lot of the 21K's that you might do in the cities, where basically you're running in a residential area the whole time."
This year's Dinosaur Valley Half Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, September 9 starting at the Badlands Community Facility, More information can be found here.