BAXTER SPRINGS - Cherokee County holds the distinguished honor of being the only county in Kansas that contains any of the national treasure: Historic Route 66. Remaining an integral part of the community, 'The Mother Road' winds her beautiful, brief stretch through Galena, Riverton, and Baxter Springs.

This unique claim is bringing yet another attraction to the area. The Mother Road Marathon, sponsored by Mercy, is returning on Oct. 1. A truly one-of-a-kind running event, the Mother Road Marathon consists of three races navigating through three states on historic Route 66. In the titular marathon, runners will pass through six local communities, getting an interesting look at Cherokee County along the way.

The Mother Road Half Marathon participants will begin in Baxter Springs. Runners will travel through four towns in two states on their way to the eventual finish in Joplin, Missouri. The Mother Road 5K is 3.1 mile course that will take runners around Schifferdecker Park and golf course in Joplin, before ending on old Route 66.

The event is sponsored by Twelveone. Twelveone Group is a progressive event consulting and management firm specializing in running, endurance, and fundraising events.

"While there are many miles of flat and fast racing, there are some challenging hills in the latter stages of the event to look forward to," said a Twelveone representative regarding the Mother Road Marathon course. "Many have suggested from previous years that The Mother Road Marathon is a fantastic tune-up for The Boston Marathon and other events where inclines are a trademark. Best of all, you will experience the charm, history, and landscapes that only the historic Mother Road can provide."

Runners interested in registering for any of the races can do so at www.motherroad.run. Price for the 3-State Marathon is $95 until Sept. 28, $110 after; 2-State Half Marathon is $70 until Sept. 28, $80 after; Mother Road 5K is $35 until Sept. 28, $40 after.