Organizers and local hosts for the Center of the Nation marathon series are finalizing plans that schedule Belle Fourche as headquarters for the Mainly Marathons five-state in five-day runs.

It's a second year for the runs that are designed for marathon fans from around the U.S. and abroad who want to run as many marathons in as many states as possible.

Belle Fourche headquarters the events that begin Sept. 17 with a marathon and half marathon at Baker, Mont.

The Tri-State Museum and Center of the Nation Visitor Center is host for the group.

The second race is at Bowman, N.D., on Sept. 18.

Third is in Belle Fourche Friday, Sept. 19 beginning at the Center of the Nation Visitor Center.

The Belle Fourche run takes advantage of the RiverWalk bike and walking path.

Saturday, Sept. 20, the runners head to Sundance, Wyo., for the fourth state in the series of runs.

Then it's a drive to Chadron, Neb., for the fifth state run on Sunday.

Although the runners are serious about making the course in each of the states, Mainly Marathons has a "no runner left behind" policy regardless of time - and states, "walkers are always welcome."

Pets are not allowed - but run-walkers with small children are welcome to have a stroller for the little ones.

Local participants and military discounts are available.

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Registration is available online, along with more information on the runs.

Courses are set up with multi-loop concepts that allow one giant aid station with everything from fruit to jellybeans and sandwiches, water, Gatorade and coffee.

All finishers will receive a separate medal for each day; in addition, the program includes a special medal to those who complete all races in a series.

Mainly Marathons offers a special award to each person participating in his or her first full or half marathon. The famous caboose award is given to the final finisher of each race.

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