Since its inception 38 years ago, runners have been consistently impressed with the Capital City Marathon (CCM). The scenery of Washington’s capital city, which boasts rural landscapes and friendly neighborhoods, is stunning. Rolling hills help marathoners qualify for Boston at a high rate. Swag is always original and high quality, and the festive post-race event features locally sourced food, free massage and a recently added beer tent.

But if there is one thing CCM is known for, it is the amazing volunteers and spectators who support the marathon, half marathon, 5-mile and free Kids Run. Every year, 600 volunteers, the true heart and soul of the event, leave a lasting impression.

“The Capital City Marathon … had the BEST spectators and community support I have ever seen,” said 2018 marathon winner Jessica Kosloski of Bonney Lake, WA, who ran 19 races in 2018. “It was wonderful to have that support and encouragement!”

In addition, Jessica appreciated that CCM is a “beautiful course,” with “great pacers” and “a lot of water stops.” It is also “very well-marked” and “a perfect race for all skill levels.”

Former Olympian Jeff Galloway ran CCM in 2016, 2017 and 2018. “The last mile is unbelievable, with a wonderful downhill past the Capitol and down the middle of the road to the crowds near the finish.”

While the event attracts runners from all over, CCM is proud of its reputation as a “hometown race.”

Paula Moore, who lives in Olympia, has loved running the half-marathon a couple of times as well as the 5-mile. But the 26.2-mile distance is the one that made her most appreciative of what sets this event apart from others.

“A marathon is a grueling, mental game that challenges you to beat back thoughts of self-doubt. You see a lot of races that offer distractions on the course like a band. Here, in our hometown, you see your friends nearly every step of the way. One of your first co-workers is directing traffic at mile 16. Another colleague is spraying off hot runners with a hose at mile 19. And then there’s my neighborhood, that house with the ladies in crazy hats with crazy signs cheering me on, in my first marathon at my fifth hour, with just over two miles to go. When I got to the finish, the volunteers had waited for me, one of the final runners. They wait for all of us. It’s what makes CCM and Olympia great.”

The 2019 CCM marathon, half marathon and 5-mile will be held May 19. The Run Fair and 1.2-mile Kids Run will be held May 18. The all-volunteer event benefits local high school running programs. Rates increase Feb. 1: www.capitalcitymarathon.org/registration