FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Runner Registrations Are Coming in From Across Kansas and
the US For the 11th Annual Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene April 13.
"We currently have five runners from Canada and one from South America,"
co-race director Dustin DeWeese said. "There are 32 states represented
currently, including a runner from Hawaii."
Members of the R.H. Viola host family are returning to Abilene to help in
organizing the event, and the Abilene area is gearing up for all the
volunteer activities needed to run the event.
Since the course is sanctioned and certified by USA Track and Field, it
will once again be a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
In addition to the marathon and half-marathon races, which begin at 7 a.m.,
and 5K/10K races, which begin at 7:30 a.m., the event includes a community
walk through historic downtown Abilene, beginning at 9 a.m. Placement
medals are given to the top three runners in each age category of all four
races for both male and female runners and cash prizes are gained for 1st,
2nd, and 3rd places overall in the marathon and half-marathon races, for
both men and women.
Mary Jean Eisenhower will return to Abilene to present the marathon awards,
with the presentation beginning about 10 a.m. in the Eisenhower Visitor's
Center. The general public is invited to attend.
Runners and family will be treated to discounted admission to the
Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Museum hours will be 9 a.m. to
9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday of race weekend.
Runners needing a shuttle to the starting line from the motels in Abilene
will enjoy a Convention and Visitor's Bureau trolley ride with all runners
receiving information about Abilene attractions, also provided by the CVB.
"Runners will follow a newly certified course this year," DeWeese said.
"Since the Kansas Department of Transportation is no longer able to provide
Kansas highway detours for events, the 2013 course will find marathon
runners covering the half-marathon course twice. This will allow 16 miles
of the course to be completely free of traffic while runners are on Hawk
Road, 1900 and 2000 Avenues and in Brown's Park, but will have traffic
allowed on Highway 15."
A pilot car will lead traffic from 2000 Avenue to the Covered Wagon
Campground in Abilene, using the west lane of Hwy 15 while runners are in
the east lane. In-town Abilene northbound traffic will use one lane and
southbound traffic the other, of the two lanes on the west side of Buckeye.
The runners will be in the two lanes on the east side of Buckeye.
"By starting our races further south on Buckeye than in previous years, in
between the Greyhound Hall of Fame and the Eisenhower Chapel, and having
runners go north to the northwest corner of the Eisenhower grounds, then
turning east to Campbell and going south to SE 6th Street, then west to
Buckeye, we pick up enough distance that runners will not have to use Hwy
15 at the 1900 Ave intersection," DeWeese said. "Thus traffic will be able
to travel at normal speed from the 2000 intersection of Hwy 15 on south. It
should make travel much easier on marathon day."
Representatives of the Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Highway
Patrol, Dickinson County Sheriff's office, Abilene Police, Abilene City
Commissioners, Dickinson County Commissioners, Central Kansas Amateur Radio
Operators, and employees from the city and county yards all have joined in
meeting marathon needs for runner safety on marathon day.
"We owe Lon Schrader and Martin Tannahill a huge vote of thanks for the
many hours they have put into helping us with the 2013 marathon," DeWeese
said. "Lon went the extra mile and then some in helping decide how to
handle this event without the full-blown detour we had during the first 10
The Daughters of Isabella and Knights of Columbus will again provide a
Friday evening pasta dinner at Parish Hall from 6-8 p.m. In addition local
Kiwanis Club members will provide the race-day pancake and sausage brunch
Saturday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the
door for both meals.
Horse Club members will continue patrolling the marathon course to provide
added runner safety and call EMTs for emergency assistance when needed.
"They not only add safety for runners, but they carry out our theme of
running the historic Chisholm Trail," said Linda Viola Bankes, team leader
for the horseback riders.
"This outsourcing of work areas required for the marathon to operate
smoothly has been a helpful addition to our marathon event," co-race
director Jon Gose said. "The Viola family appreciates the annual
assistance from the 29 nonprofit organizations involved. In fact, we
couldn't handle the event without them!"
Interested individuals can access information about the marathon event plus
view pictures and video from past marathons at www.eisenhowermarathon.com,
and those readers who would like to see comments from the runners about the
Eisenhower Marathon can go to www.marathonguide.com and read comments from
runners across the United States. The marathon also has a page on Facebook.
"Runners often praise local businesses and volunteers for the tremendous
welcome they receive when coming to Abilene," Gose said. "They mention
businesses by name on the Internet and highly compliment those volunteers
out on the course for the assistance provided during the race. They love
Abilene's small-town hospitality and when runners feel welcomed to our
area, they are eager to return and tell friends and family about Abilene,
Corporate sponsors for the 2013 Eisenhower Marathon include Alco Stores,
Inc., DS&O Electric Cooperative, Eisenhower Foundation, Holm Automotive
Center, KABI/KSAL radio, Land Pride (a division of Great Plains
Manufacturing), McDonalds, Pinnacle Bank, Ralph and Avis Viola, Roger and
Karen Viola, Warren Wilson Hay, Inc, Wilson Transport, Inc, and Webb Home
Center, with many local businesses sponsoring other event needs. All
donors will be recognized in race-day posters at the event, on the website
and in added publicity.
Runners in the 5K and 10K races will begin to cross the finish line about
7:50 a.m. marathon day, with half marathon runners beginning to finish
about 8:30 a.m. and marathon winners about 9:30 a.m. on April 13.
"We hope residents will come down to the finish line area for a great
pancake and sausage breakfast and help us cheer the runners for the
Eisenhower Marathon as they cross the finish line," Gose said.