LAKE PLACID -Organizers of the Lake Placid Classic half-marathon and 10-kilometer road race are expecting another big crowd Saturday.
The event, which starts at the Olympic Oval in downtown Lake Placid and finishes at the North Elba Show Grounds, has expanded each of the last two years. The trend should continue this year with 253 participants pre-registered for the 13.1-mile distance and 130 registered for the 10k (as of 6 a.m. Wednesday).
The race drew 226 half-marathoners and 93 10kers last year, which was the first time the race offered the shorter distance. There were 212 runners in the half marathon in 2012.
Marc Galvin of Lake Placid finishes the 2011 North Elba/Lake Placid Half Marathon at the North Elba Show Grounds.
News file photo — Lou Reuter
Registration for the race will remain open until 8:15 a.m. on the day of the race and will take place in the ticket building at the Oval. Free parking will be available at the Horse Show Grounds, with shuttle buses taking runners and walkers into town for the start.
Walkers in the event will be offered an early start time at 8:30 a.m., to be followed by the general race start at 9 a.m.
Previously known as the Lake Placid/North Elba Half-Marathon, the event has been an autumn staple in the Lake Placid region for more than 40 years. Butch Martin and the North Elba Park District organized and operated the event over the last several decades, taking over for the late Dr. Robert Lopez, who headed the first Lake Placid full and half-marathon race in 1970.
In the 1970s, the marathon began in Paul Smiths and the half in Saranac Lake, with both ending in Lake Placid.
Sometime later, the full marathon was eliminated and the half-marathon race was moved to begin and end at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds in Lake Placid.
After 41 years, the Town of North Elba made the decision to discontinue organizing the event. As word of the race cancellation reached the running community, several individuals stepped forward to organize an effort to continue the legacy of this race. With the assistance of Adirondack Health (Adirondack Medical Center), Lake Placid Village, the Town of North Elba, ROOST and several individuals within the community, a group of local volunteers continued the fall tradition, making it what it is today.
The race receives strong support from many volunteers including Lake Placid/Wilmington CYC (Connecting Youth & Community) and there supporting organizations, Adirondack Health and National Sports Academy all who provided personnel for set-up, the race and clean-up. Over the last two years, the race has been able to donate to the Lake Placid Youth Association and the Lake Placid/Wilmington CYC (Connecting Youth & Community).
The event has accrued a large list of sponsors including The Fallen Arch and Serenity Packing Company, title sponsor, Adirondack Health, the host hotel The Golden Arrow, along with over 18 local businesses.
For more information, go to www.lakeplacidclassic.com.