A cancer patient will be among the runners in the Adirondack Distance Festival this weekend in Schroon Lake. Noirin Lucas of New York City will toe the starting line for the half marathon Sunday.
A cancer patient will be among the runners in the Adirondack Distance Festival this weekend in Schroon Lake.
Noirin Lucas of New York City will toe the starting line for the half marathon Sunday.
Lucas ran the race last fall to celebrate her victory over the breast cancer, which doctors had told her was in remission.
“Last fall a runner friend suggested I try a race — the Adirondack Half-Marathon,” Lucas wrote in the July issue of Runner’s World magazine. “He thought it would be a good first long race because it has a small field. In all my years of running, I had never needed the goal of a race to get out and moving. thought that starting-line tension and finishline prints were overrated, and really don't like crowds. But I had been trying to do something adventurous every summer since I had finished chemo two years earlier, and this fit the bill.
“It turned out to be exhilarating,” she wrote. “We ran around Schroon Lake, ending at a beach. Loved the people I met along the hilly course, the scenery, the massage and dip in the lake at the end, and being able to say I'd run 13.1 miles. Plus, I got a big kick out of the announcer saying, ‘And all the way from New York City, Noirin Lucas,’ as I crossed the finish line in 2:04.”
Lucas’ excited was short-lived.
“At the end of December, I learned that my breast cancer had probably metasta-sized,” she wrote. “The shock was particularly intense because I’d seen my oncologist just three months before and there had been no warning signs. From the high of feeling as fit as I ever had at the beginning of the month, I’d been handed a death sentence.”
But Lucas has not let her illness place her on the sidelines. She will be running in Schroon Lake this weekend.
More than 1,200 runners are expected to toe the line in the half marathon, marathon and marathon relay Sunday, Sept. 25, in Schroon Lake.
The marathon and half marathon are part of the Adirondack Distance Festival. The distance festival also includes 5 and 10-kilometer road races in Chestertown Saturday, Sept. 24.
About 1,600 runner are expected for the two-day event.
Past races have attracted runners from Japan, United Kingdom, Egypt, Alaska, California, Oregon and a host of other locales.
The marathon has been recommended by Runner’s World magazine as one of “Eight Great Events to Kick Off the Fall Racing Season.” The race was also listed in the book From Fairbanks to Boston, 50 Great U.S. Marathons as one of the top 50 races in the country. Prevention Magazine listed the Schroon race as one of the best “walker-friendly” events in the country.
The marathon, 26 miles, 385 yards, will start at 9 a.m. on Main Street in Schroon Lake. The single loop course circumnavigates Schroon Lake over challenging forest roads with lakeside views until it finishes back at the Schroon Lake town beach.
There is also a two-person marathon relay that gets under way at 9 a.m.
People who wish to walk the marathon course can get started at 7 a.m. The course will remain open until 3 p.m.
For the first time, this year the marathon will offer “pace bears,” experienced runners who will help guide other competitors through the course at a specific pace.
Only two marathons in the New England Region offer pacer services to their participants.
“Pace bear” profiles are available online at www.adirondackmarathon.org
“Pace bears” are available beginning at the 3:30 finishing goal and in 15 minute increments all the way through the 4:45 pace.
“Their experiences and interests are varied and you will be assured of many interesting conversations along the way,” said Bob Singley of the marathon committee. “There is no registration necessary. You may join your preferred bear at the start –each will be carrying a finish time sign—or along the way. If you have been too optimistic and discover you are unable to keep up with your preferred bear, you may drop down to a more relaxed bear. Or if you are tired of going alone, you are welcome to join a group at any time.”
The marathoners have company over the second half of the course as the half marathoners will toe the starting line in Adirondack at 10 a.m. to race to the finish in Schroon Lake 13.1 miles later.
Marathon weekend begins on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 9:30 a.m. with 5 and 10-kilometer runs through the streets of Chestertown.
The races begin and end at the Chester Municipal Center.
Individual racers as well as teams can register on Friday, Sept. 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. or Saturday morning from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the municipal center.
Also participating will be about 500 volunteers, who will man aid stations along the courses and work the finish area.
Packet pick up for marathon and half marathon racers will be Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Schroon Lake Central School.
There will be a running expo at the same time.
There will be a pasta dinner, open to runners and others, that night at 5:30 at Word of Life. Tickets are available at the expo and at the door.
The marathon course records are held by David Herr of Canaan, Vt., and Simone Stoeppler of Germany. Herr ran 2 hours, 35 minutes, 38 seconds in 2009, while Stoeppler ran 3:04:08 in 2004.
The hand cyclist record belongs to Bill Schwarz, who rolled to a 1:45:32 mark in 2008.
The half marathon records belong to Eric Blake, who ran 1:10:43 in 2004, and Annette Acuff, who was clocked in 1:23:13 in 2007.