Nice local marathon, but hot! (about: 2000)|
A Runner from Indianapolis, IN (10/15/00)
A good example of a local running club putting out a small, 150-runner marathon on a bare-bones budget.
The course is very flat, and almost completely on city park paths and greenways. There is a half-mile stretch on a city street, which contains the course's only hill. This is also the only section where one may encounter spectators.
After an initial loop around a park, the course goes out-and-back three times on the greenway and city street. This allowed the organizers to have only about four aid stations successfully cover the entire course. The downside to this is that it gets boring going back and forth three times on the same stretch.
The major problem this race has is the time of year, as the 2000 race was held on the hottest day of the year up to that time, with numerous cases of heat exhaustion. Although course monitoring and on-site medical personnel were able to quickly catch and treat the cases I saw, this isn't something most people would go out of their way to risk. Despite the course setting, there was very little shade to be had.
In conclusion, this marathon does have a 'down-home' charm, with its friendly volunteers, pastoral course, and accessible race director, but because of the heat risk, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone outside the local area unless the race date is moved, preferably to spring.