Nature's Marathon (about: 2003)|
G. S. from Santa Clara, CA (9/16/03)
You know it is a small marathon when the aid station workers not only know your first and last name, but also your mother's maiden name and your favorite color. What the Burney Marathon lacks in terms of the larger marathons with their hundreds of runners, it returns in beauty, splendor, and quaintness. The views rival that of Napa and Big Sur. Landscape vistas of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, farms, fields of golden California grass, small ponds of water lillies and, of course, Shasta Pines. The race, if you call it that, is not that hard, with rolling hills from mile 7-11, and a dirt trail from 22-25. They claimed it was the warmest marathon ever. But it only got up to 80, and there was a breeze. It's a very low-tech marathon; there is no chip timing, just rubber hose timing. The
start was on the dirt track at MacArthur High School, where a rubber hose was stretched across the 50-yard line.
As for the marathon it self, it was more like a 26.2 mile training run, except you get a T-shirt and a finisher's medal. After a few miles you don't see very many runners, and the only people cheering you on are at the finish line at the Burney High School.
The aid station workers are a little different then any we've seen at other marathons. They're not your typical high school or college volunteers. No, it's more like the various volunteer firemen, farmers, and Lions Club members. I especially enjoyed the guys hitting golf shots into the gravel pit at mile 13.