Georgia Marathon Fiasco?

As you may have gathered from the previous postings here and here, I attended the inaugural ING Georgia Marathon last weekend in and around Atlanta. I confess some disappointment with the organization of the race.

I know several people who ran this race and they all complained about the way in which it was operated. For one thing there was no corralling at the start line; all marathoners and half-marathoners were mixed together with no regard to projected finish time. This led to a mess at the start due to numerous passing maneuvers, etc. The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and a blog or two, reported that some water stations were out of water and/or sports drink. One runner said he detoured into a bakery and asked for salt to replenish his electrolytes.

From my vantage point, it seemed like they didn’t think this all the way through. “How do we get runners to the start?” “How do we communicate splits?” “How do we get the half and full runners to part ways at junction?” “How do we keep the Half marathoners from getting in the way of the elites?” These would have been good questions to have answers for.

I mention that last item because I was getting worried around the 1:30 mark. Saint Charles was packed from left to right by the mid group of half-marathoners and I was expecting the elite marathoners at any moment. It turned out I was too early in my estimate by about 20 minutes, but that 20 minutes was more than short enough for the elites to catch up to that pack before they finished. I wonder if they ran (ha ha) into any problems, but I haven’t heard anything about it.

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