The Race Begins: Picture By Tom Kennedy
If there’s one word that sums up this year’s Adirondack Marathon for race director Joel Friedman, it’s “energy”
The energy yesterday was everywhere, from the hundreds who came out to cheer on the runners at the start of the race and around the course, to the energy of the volunteers and energy that the runners gave out.
“All of the marathons are equally great, but the energy this year was beyond any other year,” Joel told Schroon Laker today.
“There were cheerleaders at the Word of Life (in southern Schroon) who were so loud that runners heard them across the lake.
“Everyone was pumped yesterday, the overall atmosphere was electric. Between the drummers, the Pacer Bears, and all of the spectators, it was a perfect day.”
And runners told Joel they felt that energy around the entire course, as residents and second home owners came out and cheered on the runners as they passed by their homes and businesses.
Joel wasn’t surprised when we told him how we were happily taken aback by the number of “thank you for your support” comments we got from the runners we cheered on, from our vantage point just south of Witherbee’s.
“The whole town comes out. Every spectator is enthusiastic and it’s returned back to you by the runners.
“I’m continually told by runners they are on cloud 9 when they have the whole town behind them.”
Yesterday could not have been a more perfect day for the marathon. The weather was just right for running, the wind was calm and the sun shone brightly as runners crossed the finish line.
After each race, Joel tries and talks to as many runners as possible, about what can be down to improve the event the fiollowing year.
“The number one answer I get is always: ‘Cut down on the number of hills’. But seriously, when I probe for anything tangible, people say they haven’t come across a better organized and run race anywhere.”
And Joel attributes that to the volunteers – from near and far – who work the race weekend. This year more than 700 volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the event.
Joel has already announced the dates for next year’s marathon weekend – September 21 and 22 – and hopes to start working on those plans after taking a few days off.
Were you part of nthe big weekend, either as a runner, spectatctor or volunteer? tell us about your experience in our comments section.