ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Marathon is just under four months away, set to be held on September 20.
That may seem far away in the distance to some, but for those hoping to compete, their training has already begun. Organizers are working hard to make sure all that long, difficult work isn’t all for nothing.
“We started in the motto running is not canceled way back when this all started, and indeed these folks are out there showing us these are not,” says Ellen Brenner, VP/CFO Fleet Feet & YellowJacket Racing.
She says she’s seen a boom of people running around town and hopes to put on some events for them soon. Races are likely in phase four of reopening, and they’re talking with officials to make sure they’re ready for when that day comes.
“We are working with the municipalities because they’re the ones that give us the permits to be able to produce these, so we have to make sure we are in alignment with them and meet the criteria that they have to host as well,” says Brenner.
With other parts of the country opening up quicker than Rochester, they’ll get a glimpse soon as to what a marathon will look like in the new normal.
“We are looking at other states who will be producing events in June and seeing what they do, so we’ll follow the lead of a lot of other organizations to see what works,” says Brenner.
There is an upcoming Spartan race in Florida that is expected to have a large number of people attend. That will be a race that Brenner will be watching carefully to see what happens.
The high traffic areas during a marathon will be of biggest concern, such as the start. There are many ways to reduce the number of people lining up at the beginning.
“Everything from corral starting, different start times by races, in addition to seeing how many people can fit in the area by the start,” she adds.
They will also be thinking about how the water stop areas could be adjusted as well as post-race meals.
They already got a head start on limiting the number of people at the marathon when they stopped collecting registrations in April.
“There’s not a lot of numbers right now, so whatever that max is, we’ll likely be closer to it and not have to worry about too many people,” she says
Currently about 450 are signed up for the two-day race weekend when normally that number would be in the thousands. Usually, there are about 3,500 runners competing in all of the races over the weekend. They still have hope they can have as many people race as possible, to give all the new runners out there that feeling of accomplishment.
“Race day is quite electric and we need that electricity again, we need that joy whether you’re a runner or a walker, everyone is longing to be able to be together again in that type of setting,” says Brenner.
The next big race YellowJacket racing hopes to hold is the Shoreline Half-Marathon on July 11th in Hamlin.