After four years in the making, a benefit marathon for LaCasa will soon become a reality. On Saturday, a mix of local and out-of-town runners – ages ranging from mid-20’s to late 50’s – will come together for the first ever Maple City Indoor Marathon.

It will be the third known indoor marathon in the United States. Doug Yoder, the men’s and women’s cross country coach, is coordinating the 26.2 mile (204 lap) race, which will take place indoors at the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center.

“I first thought of the idea when I heard about an indoor marathon being held at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota,” Yoder said. “I have been ‘cooking’ this idea for the past four years since, and it seemed like it just fell into place to try it this year.”

Registration costs $70 per participant and will be accepted until 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.

According to Yoder, the proceeds will cover the cost of commemorative shirts for every contestant as well as a 2009 medal for every runner who finishes within the six hour time limit. All other proceeds will be donated to LaCasa, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping families move from crisis to stability.

Yoder not only chose LaCasa for the benefit because of the work they do, but because there are many alumni who are closely associated with the organization. Though there are no LaCasa associates participating in the race itself, several volunteer associates are helping to coordinate the event, which has drawn the attention of 12 to 15 runners thus far.

“The limit [of participants] would be 25 runners,” Yoder said. “We won’t get that this year, but next year we will.”

Along with the opportunity to help LaCasa, the purpose of the event is to offer runners a personal challenge of finishing the entire distance and reaching personal goals the participants have set for themselves.

Yoder has set his own goal to break the indoor world record in the 50 kilometers. He is currently taking pledges for every lap he completes outside the marathon’s required distance. Any additional money that is put up for Yoder’s efforts will also be given to LaCasa.

Anyone is welcome to pledge donations by contacting Yoder at