Friday, June 03, 2005

Marathoners Go the Extra Mile

I saw this story on the front page of the Chicago Tribune this morning when I picked-up my paper...

Unbelievably, marathon runners in the recent Lakeshore Marathon, in Chicago, had to run an extra mile because the course was set-up wrong. But, that wasn't the only problem with the event.

The problem was the race--27.2 miles--was a full mile longer than a traditional marathon. But participants didn't know about the mistake until the event was over Monday.

This gaffe, along with other organizational disasters, including missing mile markers and unstaffed aid stations, unleashed a firestorm of criticism from Chicago's running community over Illinois' only spring marathon. Some runners are so livid they are urging the city to stop issuing permits for the Lakeshore Marathon until it's under new management.

On Thursday, after nearly a week of mounting fury on Web sites among many of the marathon's entrants, race founder and organizer Mark Cihlar issued an apology on

What did the organizers say about the extra mile?

"[Last-minute changes] caused us to miscalculate and we foolishly added an extra mile--how terrible!" he wrote in the memo to Lakeshore participants.

The idea of "going the extra mile" is supposed to be a voluntary effort. Not this time!

NOTE: If you check out the old version of the Lakeshore Marathon website, my favorite statement on it is this, "Runners love the course!"


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