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Proud to be part of the Lake Placid Marathon family

April 19, 2019
Editorial , Lake Placid News

With spring break out of the way - and most of the snow melted in the lower elevations of the Adirondacks - it's time to start thinking about late spring activities. For Lake Placid, that means the 15th annual Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon, which is set for Sunday, June 9.

As the official newspaper of this race, the Lake Placid News is proud to say that we've been covering the Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon since it launched in 2005.

Runners and walkers who have participated in this event know how special it is. Some may ask, "How can you have a course that is so beautiful and so challenging at the same time?" Easy. This is Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. We know how to put on some of the best sporting events in the world that test your mettle. We've been doing it for 100 years.

Article Photos

Runners take part in the 2018 Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

For the Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon, that means beautiful landscapes and some noteworthy hills. Never mind that hill next to the Olympic ski jumps; it's easy compared to that last hill up McLenathan Avenue to the finish line in front of the Lake Placid Middle-High School, which can feel brutal if you haven't trained on hills, especially after running or walking almost 13.1 or 26.2 miles. But once you get to the top of that hill, and make one final lap on the Olympic Speedskating Oval to the finish line, it's a natural high. With a finisher's medal around your neck, it makes it all worthwhile.

The course is best described as "moderate rolling, some flat, with a few steep hills." The River Road section, following the West Branch of the AuSable River, is particularly beautiful.

The course starts and ends at the historic Olympic Speedskating Oval on Main Street. From there, it takes runners past the 1932 and 1980 Olympic arenas, up the Main Street business district, around picturesque Mirror Lake, down Mill Hill to the North Elba Showgrounds, past the Lake Placid Airport and ski jumps, up and down the River Road (twice for marathoners, once for half-marathoners), up the final hill to the middle-high school and the finish line.

There are 26 aid station opportunities along the full marathon course and 14 for the half marathon. The first four are water only and the remainder have water, sports drink, Clif products (energy gel and bars), fruit and other snacks.

The event is sanctioned and the course is certified by USA Track & Field, the governing body of running events in the U.S. It is also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

This is one of the friendliest races for half marathon walkers, as there is a six-hour time limit: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All finishers within the time limit get a finisher's medal.

It's worth noting that the crew at the Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon is experienced. That's an understatement. Many of the volunteers at the aid stations have been doing this for years, and the race director - Greg Borzilleri - has been organizing races here for more than 30 years. He's the race director of both Ironman Lake Placid triathlons, the 140.6-mile race in July and the 70.3-mile race in September. Racers couldn't be in better hands.

Safety is always a concern for racers, and Lake Placid can consider itself lucky to have some of the world's finest emergency crews on hand during races.

Last September, for example, volunteers, a racer who is an emergency room doctor and EMTs teamed up to save the life of a Portuguese racer whose heart stopped beating during the Ironman Lake Placid 70.3 triathlon. And in the summer of 2017, Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service EMT Melissa "Missy" Furnia saved the life of a player who suffered a heart attack during the Lake Placid Summit Classic lacrosse tournament. (She was also part of the life-saving team during the triathlon race.)

"Here was a truly fit, fast and youthful athlete laying in the road just minutes from the finish line," Borzilleri said in November about the triathlete, "and despite all the skills exhibited by our first responders, 10 minutes had gone by with no response. Eleven minutes in, I heard the best four words ever: 'We have a pulse.'"

The Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon is a popular race. Last year, the field included 260 runners in the full marathon and 814 half-marathoners. In 2010, it was ranked as the No. 2 "Best Destination" race in the United States by Runner's World Magazine.

Signing up is easy. It's not too late. Just go online to Sign up today. There is no registration on race day.



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