Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Seafair Marathon Now the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon

Apparently, the much maligned Seafair Marathon has been sold and is now the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon. I ran the race in 2006 and found it had many problems. The course was very challenging, the temperature was way too warm and there were major traffic issues as the full and half marathon converged on one another. It was after this marathon I promised to never run another summer marathon, even in Seattle.

This year was a disaster. Not only did they change the course for the third time in four years, they didn't have enough buses to transport people to the start line, leaving 400 runners, who had trained for this race for many months, stranded with no race to run.

So I don't know what the transition of "ownership" will mean. They undoubtedly will keep it at the same time of year. Hopefully they will start the race earlier. More importantly, maybe they can find a course that won't change every year. It's no wonder they had so much logistical trouble this year...they don't keep a course long enough to perfect the logistics around it.

What's most interesting is it is run by the same people who put on what I believe to be the best road race in Seattle: Seafair Torchlight.

This past weekend I became a first time race director so I caught a glimpse of how ridiculously hard it is to put together a running event so I'm a bit hesitant to be too harsh. Maybe the Seafair folks realized their expertise was in shorter events. Marathons are infinitely more challenging to host than a 10k or 5k. While I will still never run this marathon, I hope Rock and Rolling it will provide the alternative to the Seattle Marathon that Seafair has been.

Someday, someone will organize a marathon in King County that isn't in the crappy weather of Thanksgiving weekend nor in the heat of summer.