Jeff Edwards, who co-directs the race with Brad Konkler, said in terms of the numbers of competitors, the race has basically reached its capacity.
“We grew quite a bit last year, and this year will be pretty much the same size,” Edwards said. “I think we are at our maximum numbers with the course we have.”
The full 26.2-mile marathon will have about 500 entries, with the rest of the field, approximately 1,500, taking on the half marathon distance. The race will begin at 8 a.m. in front of the speedskating oval with a spectacular start, as the entire field will run on Main Street, which will be closed to traffic.
“I’m so busy that I’ve never really watched much of the start,” Edwards said.?“I know it’s big, I know it’s breathtaking, and it can even be a bit scary. The closest I’ve come to watching it is on a YouTube video on our website.”
During each year of the marathon, a growing number of competitors have used the event as fundraiser for various charities. Others incorporate the marathon into their training schedule for the Ironman Lake Placid held each July.
This year, a highlight of the event will be a group of about 40 United States Army soldiers from Fort Drum running the complete marathon distance in their army boots. Edwards said the soldiers, who are members of the same battalion, select a marathon to run in each year. He added that 60 soliders from the battalion who couldn’t make it to Lake Placid ran a marathon race in Texas just days ago.
“I think it’s pretty neat they are doing this,” Edwards said.?“The guys who ran in Texas couldn’t be here because of their exercise schedule, so we sent them medals and T-shirts. I’m excited the soliders are coming.”
This year also marks the second straight summer that the Lake Placid Marathon and the Adirondack North Country Bicycle Weekend will take place at the same time, but Edwards said the events don’t interfere with each other.
“It’s two different groups,” Edwards said. “You have your runners and your bikers. It’s two different elements.”
Sunday’s race is one of the activities that kicks off the busy summer schedule in the Olympic Region. Edwards said the timing of the race is another reason it has become popular.
“Lake Placid is still a big vacation destination, and we have a good calender position early in the summer. Also, there are not that many marathons in the northeast, so that’s a big draw for us too. It’s kind of the first big event of the season.”
This year, 40 states from across America will be represented in the race, along with seven different nations. More than half the field will be women.
“We feel very fortunate to have the momentum of the community, and the support of the volunteers that it takes to host an event like this,” Edwards said.?“We are excited to be celebrating another year of the Lake Placid Marathon. It’s become a tradition here.”
Lake Placid News file photo
Runners pack Main Street in Lake Placid near the beginning of last year's Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon. The marathon returns Sunday for its seventh running.
Fact Box2010 winners
*Sebastien Roulier, Sherbrooke, Quebec 2:39:49
Micaela McMurrough, New York 3:10:02
Tommy Fyffe, Cincinnati, Ohio 1:14:45
Sara Facteau, Peru 1:23:11
*Roulier has won the last two Lake Placid Marathons