Runners led astray again at the Santa Rosa Marathon, prompting some to run an extra mile
For the third time in the past four years, the Aug. 28 Santa Rosa Marathon has been steeped in controversy.
This year, the 3:03 race pacer steered one of the lead packs off the course, and they ended up running an extra mile. Some of the runners were trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, since Santa Rosa is one of the last races before Boston opens up for entries in September. Running nearly 27 miles meant they missed a BQ.
One has to wonder how this happened. Race pacers should be familiar with the course, either having cycled or driven it beforehand.
It also was disconcerting this year when one of the 5K lead "bikes"actually an Elliptigo riderwas asking a police officer on the course before the race where he was supposed to turn when he brought the runners through. Not a good sign when the lead bike, who should know the course, has to ask for directions.
One also has to wonder whether Santa Rosa had enough help at crucial intersections, since a race official admitted they weren't able to get enough volunteers. And many of the volunteers were inattentive, instead texting on their smart phones, sitting down and not paying attention, or just not directing traffic at corners where runners were supposed to turn.
In addition to the runners being led astray, the 5K started 20 minutes late as race officials had to wait for 10K participants to move off the course. The 10K was new this year, and Santa Rosa may have taken on too much with four races.
Bakersfield latest city to host a marathon
Bakersfield becomes the latest Central Valley city to host a marathon and joins Fresno and Modesto.
The inaugural Bakersfield Marathon and Half-Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 13, will start and finish at the California State University, Bakersfield campus. Also planned are a two-person half-marathon relay and 5K.
The event co-founder is the non-profit Active Bakersfield Alliance. USATF-certified courses will run through historic city neighbors, though the CSUB campus, along Panorama Bluffs and on the Kern River Parkway. Health and fitness expo planned for Nov. 12.
For more information, visit Run Bakersfield.
The Merco Credit Union Merced Half-Marathon and 5K, which for the past few years had been held in sweltering June, moves to the more temperate October this year.
The event will be held Oct. 16, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
The course starts and finishes on the UC Merced campus. For more information, visit www.runningmerced.com.
Fleet Feet Modesto schedules weekly runs
Beginning Jan. 7, Fleet Feet Modesto will be holding weekly runs of 3 or 5 miles every Thursday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. from its store at 1427 Standiford. The store is in the Western-themed shopping center just west of Tully Road.
The runs will either go along the nearby canal or along the Virginia Corridor.
Check Fleet Feet's website regularly because many of the weekly events will be tied to a vendor, who will have shoes to try out on the runs.
Fleet Feet Modesto also is offering group training for the Modesto Marathon in late March.
Fleet Feet Stockton, located in the Lincoln Center, will continue to host its Tuesday evening run beginning at 5:30 p.m.