Thursday, August 01, 2013

Eugene Marathon Date Change

Well, the big running news of the day (aside from the announcement of the Oiselle team...) from the Pacific Northwest is that the Eugene Marathon changed its date from the end of April to the end of July.

Now, that's not as crazy as it sounds out here, because our weather is basically amazing all year 'round. And, if anything, it's helpful from a running perspective, because it'll happen after the local runners have had a chance to acclimatize to the heat (or, you know, what we call heat), rather than running the risk of an early hot day when we aren't ready for it.

BUT, I'm seeing some very mixed reactions on twitter, which basically fall into two categories (and now I've perused facebook, I'd say that it's actually overwhelmingly negative):

If you live in the PNW (so MOST of the people who have run/were planning to run Eugene): "OMG, that's the same weekend as San Francisco and a week after Ragnar Northwest Passage and there's NO WAY that I'm doing that double! And it'll be way hotter than April! This stinks: we just lost our favorite spring marathon. Guess that I'll have to go run Vancouver this year."

If you don't live in the PNW: "AWESOME! I've always wanted to run Eugene and now it doesn't conflict with all of the other marathons (Boston), plus I won't have to train through the snow and ice! It's a summer marathon without stupid hot, horrible weather! I'm so in!!!" ...except for the people who are like "OMG, it's way too hot where I am to train for a July marathon..."

My running club definitely seems to be in the first category, since Ragnar is one of our favorite & biggest races of the year.  I'm lobbying hard already for our new target spring race to be North Olympic Discovery, which I think is the best and most perfectly organized race anywhere in Washington. And I was hoping to fly back for NODM already, so getting to meet up with my SGLRG friends would make it even better.

I totally get why Eugene is changing dates. I think they want to be more of a national marathon and I definitely think that this will help them attract more people from outside the Pacific Northwest. But, I think it's kind of a shame that we've lost an amazing spring marathon. (Ask me again in October: I might feel differently if I get into London this year.) And given the negative reaction I'm seeing, I'm not convinced it was a very good idea.

Finally, and dear Eugene Marathon organizers: I might be a lot more excited about the race coinciding with the "Celebration Expo" if I knew what the heck that was...and no, google doesn't know either. Is is the IAAF World Juniors? Anyone know?


Colleen said... Reply to comment

I'm really bummed about the date change. I was so looking forward to doing the half out there for the first time next year and the new date conflicts with my annual work convention. Hoping that doesn't happen every year going forward now!

Carter said... Reply to comment

I HATE the change! Eugene is my very favorite race each year, and it has always had nearly perfect weather. Now they have ruined the best race in the region.

Joyce said... Reply to comment

@ColleenI really wanted to run the full, after I had to switch to the half this year! I'll keep my fingers crossed that they'll see the error of their ways and switch it back!

Joyce said... Reply to comment

@Carter RIGHT? I wonder if Vancouver saw a spike in registrations late last week/this weekend?