The 23rd mile decided victory for Mark Tarr of Columbia Falls, Mont., in the 1994 Coeur d’Alene Marathon.
Tarr and rival Mark Brady of Spokane are expected to battle again Sunday morning in the 18th edition of the 26.2-mile race.
The starter’s gun goes off at 7 for an estimated 400 marathoners and 600 half-marathoners. Both races start and finish at North Idaho College.
Brady won in 1993 and 1991, but conceded last year’s title to cramping calf muscles and, at the 23-mile marker, Tarr. Tarr finished in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 12 seconds, 6 minutes ahead of Brady.
The men’s record for the scenic course is 2:28:43 set by Stan Holman of Spokane in 1992.
Defending women’s champ and course record-setter Monica Pawlowski of Meridian, Idaho, has yet to enter. She cut 5 minutes off the existing record with a 2:55:24 effort.
The absence of Pawlowski leaves last year’s runner-up, Gayle Jacklin of Post Falls, and Jennifer Clark of Coeur d’Alene as women’s favorites.
Jacklin ran a personal-best 2:58:45 at the Boston Marathon in April.
The wheelchair division features defending champ Jerry Martin of Cheney, plus three-time winner and course record-holder Luis Betts of Medical Lake. Betts finished in a record 1:46:48 in 1992.
The half-marathon was added three years ago, and Chewelah’s Shawn Crockett completed the 13.1-mile course in a record time of 1:09:28 in 1994.
The women’s and wheelchair records for the half-marathon were set in 1992 by Angie Baxter of Colville (1:20:10) and Charmaine Voves of Spokane (1:41:56), respectively.
There is no race-day registration.
A late registration and packet pickup is today from noon to 6 p.m. at the NIC Student Union Building.
Course tours via bus take place today from 1 to 5 p.m. Packet pickup continues Sunday morning at 5. Marathon walkers start at 5 a.m., marathon wheelchair racers at 6:55.