The Country's First Tri-State MarathonPosted on Dec 30th 2009 3:00PM by Jennifer Fields
If running a marathon is anywhere on your 2010 list of resolutions, there's a brand new race in town that might be worth considering. Next October (10/10/10 to be exact) will mark the country's first marathon through three states. The just-announced Mother Road Marathon takes runners through small towns along the historic Route 66, starting in Oklahoma, continuing through Kansas and wrapping up in Missouri.
"Most small- and medium-sized markets don't have a major marathon," said marathoner Dean Reinke, president of the Reinke Sports Group, one of the founders of the event. His goal and that of the other organizers is to bring a sporting event to small communities that otherwise don't have professional teams to rally around. "We wanted to create a signature destination event. We want this event to be the Super Bowl of these communities."
But of all the marathons out there, why should this one be on your radar? "Route 66 has a real history and interesting background," said Reinke. "To this day people come back to see this place and drive along this road." The race organizers are capitalizing on that feeling of nostalgia and are hoping that collectors will bring out their classic cars from the '50s to display along the route. Also planned is live music at every mile and festivals in the small towns that will play hosts to the race.
Reinke expects about 1,000 people to run the inaugural race and hopes to grow that number to 5,000 within five years. He hopes one of the big selling points will be the small size of the race. "There's a large number of people who've done these mega-marathons with 20,000 or 30,000 other people. You have people at your elbows at every turn, but with these smaller cities, there's a certain charm and friendliness and a more relaxed atmosphere you can't get anywhere else," Reinke said.
He's also hoping that the historic aspect of the race will create some international and celebrity runner interest. Also, he adds, for those who aim to run a marathon in every state, a race through three of them at once is pretty ideal.
Sign up for the marathon on the race Web site.