Congrats to Lake Placid Marathon/Half-Marathon co-directors Brad Konkler and Jeff Edwards on their 10th running of this extraordinary event, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8.
We don't have the exact figures, but it's safe to say that this event pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy each year, if not millions. It is a destination event, meaning that people travel from all over the globe to compete here. And why not? It's Lake Placid - New York's Olympic Village - a premier spot for sporting events such as the Ironman triathlon, Lake Placid Horse Shows, Summit Lacrosse Tournament, Can-Am Rugby Tournament, hockey tournaments, figure skating competitions, cycling events and various running races including the 5K Turkey Trot in November and Lake Placid Classic Half-Marathon and 10K in September.
Nearly 2,000 runners and walkers will line up for the mass start on Main Street in front of the Olympic Speedskating Oval for the half- and full-marathons events. And they'll get the full Olympic experience.
Participants will run and walk past the Olympic Center, home of the "Miracle on Ice" hockey game in 1980; past the Mirror Lake Inn, owned by the parents of two-time Olympic medalist/alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht; continue around Mirror Lake to Parkside Drive and go down Mill Hill; past Mill Pond, where Lake Placid resident and speedskater Charles Jewtraw, the first person to win a gold medal in a Winter Olympic Games, which he did in 1924, practiced his skating; and follow Route 73 past the 1980 Olympic cauldron at the horse showgrounds and the Olympic ski jumps to the River Road, where they will follow the scenic and winding back road to a turnaround at the 2.8-mile point. At the end of the race, they must run or walk up the McLenathan Avenue hill, take a zig-zag at the high school and finish on the Oval where U.S. speedskaters Jack Shea and Irving Jaffee won gold medals in 1932 and speedskater Eric Heiden won an unprecedented five gold medals in 1980. Combine those inspiring landmarks with the breathtaking scenery of the Adirondack High Peaks and cool waters of Mirror Lake and the West Branch of the Ausable River, and you have a dream setting for a marathon/half-marathon. No wonder we see entries from Iceland, Singapore, Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, four provinces in Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 30 states and Washington, D.C.
We wish all the participants the very best this Sunday and extend our congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to the Lake Placid Marathon/Half-Marathon organizers for bringing so many wonderful people to Lake Placid for an event that most will list as one of their personal highlights and favorite memories of the year 2014.