Schroon Lake Central School runners completing the Adirondack Half Marathon last fall were, from left, Dan Maisonville, Levi Williams and Caleb Maisonville.
The Adirondack Marathon is growing.
Race officials have announced the addition of a four-person relay to the race, which already features a two-person relay and full marathon along with a half marathon.
“It makes the race much more accessible to people,” Joel Friedman, race director, said. “Now people will be able to participate without having to run the entire 26.2 miles. It’ll be a great addition.”
Legs in the four-person relay will be approximately 5, 8, 5 and 8 miles.
Entries will be capped at 50 teams each for the four-person and two-person relays in 2012.
“That may grow in the future, but we want to be certain everything works well this year,” Friedman said. “We want to be certain everything works smoothly before we expand any further.”
The 2012 Adirondack Marathon, half marathon and relay will be held Sunday, Sept. 23. Last year nearly 1,000 runners took part in the event, which also features 5 and 10-kilometer road races in Chestertown the day before.
The weekend is billed as the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival. It also includes a children’s kilometer run, a race expo and a pasta dinner on Saturday.
Registration for the 2012 Adirondack Marathon is now open online at www.adirondackmarathon.org
Free marathon registration is available to the first 60 active duty military, guard and reserve and free half marathon entries to the first 30 to sign up. Military are required to show their CAC card at packet pickup.
Again this year “Pace Bears” will help marathon runners reach their goal pace. “Pace Bear” groups will cross the finish line beginning at 3:30 and in 15 minute increments afterward through a 5-hour pace.
“The ‘Pace Bears’ were really popular,” Friedman said. “People really liked that.”
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 starts 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.
The marathoners have company over the second half of the course as the half marathoners start in Adirondack and race to the finish in Schroon Lake 13.1 miles later.
The Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival is designed to raise money for college scholarships and the Helpers Fund, a Chestertown group that assists people and families in need, Friedman said. It also promotes the region and boosts the local economy.
The addition of the four-person relay will help the event grow, he said.
“Our goal is to raise more money to, in turn, give away more money as well as serve our region and community,” Friedman said.
The marathon group now awards four $2,000 scholarships each year to students from the Schroon Lake and North Warren school districts.
Also helping grow the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival is the participation of charity runners.
In 2012 Team In Training, which has runners collect pledges for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raised nearly $55,000 during the Adirondack Marathon.
Friedman hopes the race can also attract participants from Team Hole in Wall, which raises money for the Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne that serves children with life-threatening illnesses, and Team MS, which raises money for multiple sclerosis research and support.
Friedman noted volunteers are always welcome to assist with the event. Interested people can Email firstname.lastname@example.org