The 17th annual Adirondack Distance Festival is expected to bring more than 1,000 runners to the Schroon Lake area. The Adirondack Distance Festival includes a full marathon, a marathon relay, a half marathon, 10-kilometer race, 5-kilometer race and children’s race. The 2013 distance Festival will be Sept. 21-22.
The 17th annual Adirondack Distance Festival is expected to bring more than 1,000 runners to the Schroon Lake area.
The Adirondack Distance Festival includes a full marathon, a marathon relay, a half marathon, 10-kilometer race, 5-kilometer race and children’s race. The 2013 distance Festival will be Sept. 21-22. The marathon, marathon relay and half marathon will be contested Sunday, Sept. 22, with the other events Saturday, Sept. 21.
Chestertown will host 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer road races Saturday. Both races will start at 9:30 a.m. at the town hall on Route 9.
Race information is available online at http://helpersfund.org/races.htm
Packet pick up for the races will be at the Municipal Center on Route 9 in Chestertown on Friday night, Sept. 20, from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday morning, Sept. 21, from 7-8:30 a.m.
There will also be a children’s kilometer fun run Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Adirondack Marathon finish line in Schroon Lake for runners ages 4-12. All runners will receive a free T shirt and finisher’s medal. Entry fee is $10.
Runners in the marathon, half marathon and relay races can prep for their event Saturday with a race expo and packet pick up 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Schroon Lake Central School, a talk by Runner’s World senior editor Jeff Dengate at 3 p.m. and a pasta dinner 5 to 6:45 p.m.
Dengate, who has family in Schroon Lake, will speak during the race expo at the school. He specializes in analyzing running shoes, apparel and gear.
The pasta dinner will be served at Word of Life Inn in Schroon Lake. Tickets are $15 each. Children age 5 and younger are free.
The Adirondack Marathon will begin in downtown Schroon Lake Sunday with the handcyclists at 8:50 a.m. and runners at 9 a.m.
The marathon, 26 miles, 385 yards, circumnavigates Schroon Lake over challenging forest roads with lakeside views until it finishes back at the Schroon town beach. The marathon course is a Boston qualifier, USATF certified course and is billed as “probably the most beautiful 26 miles and 385 yards you will ever run.”
“Pace bears” will help runners in the marathon. The pacers, experienced marathoners, will lead groups with goal times in 15-minute intervals up to 5 hours, 30 minutes.
“The loneliness of the long distance runner notwithstanding, participating in a race is ultimately a group activity, and ‘Pace Bears’ are eager to guide runners on their 26.2 mile journey around Schroon Lake,” said Laura Clark, who is helping publicize the Adirondack Marathon. “Primarily, bears enable their runners to concentrate on their form, hydration and nutrition by taking care of minutes per mile concerns. In addition to their ‘leave the driving to us’ function, pacers encourage, support, impart wisdom and entertain – all to help the miles pass faster.”
Runners do not need to sign up in advance or pay a fee for pacing services. They can join a pace group at the starting line. Pacer biographies and information are available online at www.adirondackmarathon.org
Stanley Larkin of Saint-basile-le-grand, Quebec, won the 2012 men’s marathon in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 24 seconds, while Meg Ray of New York City claimed the women’s title in 3:18:54. In the handcycle race, Jeremy Shortsleeve of Jericho, Vt., won the race in 1:48:44.
The marathoners have company over the second half of the course as half marathoners toe the starting line in Adirondack and race to the finish in Schroon Lake 13.1 miles later. The half marathon will begin at 10 a.m.
Readers of “Competitor.com” have named the half marathon along Schroon Lake as the best in the Northeast.
Michael Brady of Brooklyn won the 2012 men’s half marathon in 1:14:22. Melanie Staley of Saratoga Springs won the women’s title in 1:27:00.
Half marathon awards will be presented at 1 p.m., marathon awards at 2 p.m. and a post-race party will be held at 4 p.m. at Witherbee’s Restaurant.
For information on the marathon, half marathon and relays go online at www.adirondackmarathon.org.
During Sunday’s races several area roads will be closed or restricted 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Affected roads include Hoffman Road, Alder Meadow Road, Tyrrell Road, Severance Road, Adirondack Road, Red Wing Road, East Shore Drive, East Schroon River Road, Glendale Road and Route 9. People with questions about road closures or restrictions can call the Adirondack Marathon Command Center at 532-7737.