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Marathon numbers hold steady

June 12, 2015
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - After a heavy dumping of rain early this week, it looks like the skies may be clear on Sunday, June 14 when the 11th annual Lake Placid Marathon takes place in the Olympic Village.

Beginning with an 8 a.m. mass start on Main Street in Lake Placid, the race includes both full- and half-marathon distances. The start line will be in front of the Olympic Speedskating oval and runners will then follow a course around Mirror Lake before heading out of the village on state Route 73 for an out-and-back on River Road.

"The weather is looking pretty good," said Jeff Edwards, who directs the race along with Brad Konkler. "It looks like the heavy showers have passed through the area, and it's going to be a nice day for the race."

Article Photos

Runners make their last uphill climb as they approach the Olympic Speedskating Oval and the final meters of the race during the 2014 Lake Placid Marathon.
News photo — Lou Reuter

This year's field includes approximately 1,400 runners, which is down by about 300 from the total number of participants in 2014. Edwards, however, said the number of full-marathon distance entries has remained steady over the years and should be at around 325 on Sunday.

"We're down about 10 to 12 percent overall from last year, but the marathons have actually been pretty consistent from year to year," Edwards said. "For folks pursuing their marathon objectives, we have kind of a unique calendar position for May and June. There aren't many marathons held in this region this time of year. Most are held in the fall, so for those looking to get into a late spring, early summer marathon, we're a really nice fit."

Edwards, a resident of the Olympic Village, and Konkler established the Lake Placid Marathon, in part, to bring people to the region.

Fact Box

Traffic and detour information

Lake Placid Marathon and Half


8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Main St.: Closed between Lake Placid Club Drive (Central Garage Mobil) and Mirror Lake Dr. (High Peaks Resort) from 7:45 a.m. until 8:30 a.m.

Mirror Lake Drive between Main St. and Harbor Lane: Closed between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m.

Mirror Lake Drive/Lake Placid Club Drive: Closed from Parkside Dr. to Northwood Rd. from 7:45 until 8:45 a.m.

Parkside Dr.: Closed from Lake Placid Club Dr. to Main St./Morningside Dr. intersection from 8:15 until 9 a.m.

Rte. 73/Rte. 86 Intersection at Mill Hill: Expect delays from 8:15 until 9 a.m.

Rte. 73/Sentinel Rd./Cascade Rd.: Southbound lane closed from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. between Mill Pond Dr. intersection and Old Military Rd. intersection. Northbound lane open (use caution) to local traffic with minor delays expected at Old Military Rd. intersection. Businesses on Mill Hill can be accessed from the Main St. direction throughout the event.

Mill Pond Dr.: Closed between Sentinel Rd. and McLenathan Ave. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local traffic only between Wesvalley Rd. and McLenathan Ave. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

McLenathan Ave./School St.: Open to local traffic only, please use caution.

River Rd.: Open to local traffic only, please use caution.

Alternate Routes

(8 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

For Northbound through traffic on Rte. 73 entering Lake Placid: Head west on Old Military Rd. at the ski jumps. Follow Old Military Rd. to firehouse and make a right on River St. Make a left on Wesvalley Rd. and right onto Cummins Rd. to arrive at Main St.

For Southbound traffic leaving Lake Placid on Rte. 73: Make right off Main St. at Cummins Rd. and left at Wesvalley Rd. Make a right onto River St. and left onto Old Military Rd. at the firehouse. Old Military Rd. intersects Rte. 73 at the ski jumps.

Two way vehicle traffic will continue throughout the event at the ski jump bridge on Rte. 73 with Old Military Rd. accessible in both directions. Runners will be confined to the shoulder on Rte. 73 between the Horse Show Grounds and River Rd.

"I think it's always been a great day to kick off the busy summer season here," Edwards said. "It's nice to have a cornerstone event before school ends and before things really get going. Last week, the bike racers were all over the place, the runners and triathletes are all getting out; it's great seeing that our area has really turned into a destination for those athletes. It's been a goal of ours."

Each year, a sizable number of runners utilize the Lake Placid Marathon as a fundraising event. Team In Training, a group that raises money to fight leukemia and lymphoma, will again have a heavy presence in the race on Sunday.

Runners from 43 states and a strong contingent from Canada will be in the race, and the nations of France, the Cayman Islands and Moldova will also be represented. Edwards also said there will again be the usual group of strong local runners competing.

The record finish of 2 hours, 34 minutes and 39 seconds set in 2006 by Chuck Engle still stands as the time to beat. Last year, Clifton Park's Jake Stookey was the men's overall marathon champion in 2:43:10, and St. Lawrence University track coach Mary Kate Curran topped the women's full distance field, winning in 3:14:01.

Lake Placid native Janne Rand won the women's half marathon in 1:30:38, and Thomas O'Grady of Latham won the men's title in 1:13:03.

Our own News editor Andy Flynn will also be participating for the second straight year. Flynn, who is on a weight-losing plan, will again walk the route as a half-marathoner.

Walking with his twin brother Steve in 2014, Flynn beat the six-hour cutoff by a eight minutes after training with walking sticks to prepare for his trek. This time around, he's left the sticks behind while getting ready for Sunday, he's prepared a mixture of water, maple syrup, lemon juice and salt to keep hydrated and fueled during the race, and plans on lowering his finish time significantly. He'll also be chowing down raisins to keep up his potassium level during the journey.

"I'm looking forward to it," Flynn said. "I definitely want to beat last year's time. I'm hoping to come in in five-and-a-half hours. This year, I'm doing it with me, but I know so many people out there will be offering their support."

As a walker, Flynn will be following up the pack.

"The best part will be the walk around Mirror Lake," Flynn said. "Every one will be ahead of me. It will be nice and quiet."

In addition to the 1,400 participants, about 250 volunteers will also be busy on Sunday, mainly manning aid stations. Organizations including the New York Ski Educational Foundation, the Saranac Lake nordic ski program, the Lake Placid Youth Center and the Mountain Lake Academy will be among those represented on the volunteer roster.



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