Windermere Marathon Course 3/4 Mile Too Short - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Windermere Marathon course 3/4 mile too short

SPOKANE, Wash. - 348 dedicated runners took part in last weekend's Windermere Marathon that stretched from Post Falls to Riverfront Park. It is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, but a mistake could have put all those hoping to qualify in jeopardy.

"The hand cycle made a wrong turn and that split second the bicyclist has to make a decision and he followed," said Bob Cannon, race director.

At the start of the race in Post Falls, race organizers say that wrong turn changed the originally designed course causing runners to follow a lead bicycle in a direction that shortened the length of the race.

"Quite simply we shortened the course by about 3/4 of a mile," said Cannon.

Race organizers had to quickly figure out how to resolve the problem. Volunteers at the front of the race were able to measure the distance that was missed and they added that to the finish line.

"Had it set so runner's could come in to the finish line touch a chip mat, go back out on the course to an individual we had stationed there with a hand timing device, and we got probably 30 people that opted to actually do that," said Cannon.

30 people means only 10% of the total 348 finishers actually completed an entire marathon. It was clear through comments on blogs and on facebook that people were disappointed in the outcome of the race.

"Those of you who have finished a marathon know how ready you are to finish when you cross that line," said The Resurrected Runner blogger. "How your brain and body are ready give up the battle. It was disheartening to have to turn around and run even a short distance further."

"Wow, I really feel for everyone that has been cheated by the course," said Josh Owen, race finisher. "Especially those who were aiming for a BQ and those first timers."

Race say that if you were one of those thirty people that ran the additional loop and still finished with a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon you have nothing to worry about. Race Director Bob Cannon says he is in communication with the Boston Marathon race director to try to make a straight linear adjustment on all of the other finishing times.

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