MANSON — When runners at last year’s Lake Chelan Shore to Shore Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K were asked what organizers needed to do better, they suggested more aid stations and better traffic control.
And that’s exactly what organizers have done.
At this Saturday’s event, participants will find water/aid stations every two miles along the three courses and a professional flagging company helping separate participants from vehicles in high-traffic areas. More than 100 volunteers will be out on the course and at the finish area.
“Last year was an anomaly because temperatures rose into the 90s, but runners had a point about not enough aid stations. So this year we have 13 stations and a lot more volunteers,” said Joel Rhyner, Shore to Shore race director. “We also have purchased more cones for traffic control, and hired the flagging company to handle the bottleneck areas.”
The marathon, a Boston qualifier, begins at 7 a.m. along South Lakeshore Road near Field’s Point Landing; the half-marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. near Karma Vineyards on South Lakeshore Road; and the 10K heads out at 8 a.m. on Highway 150 adjacent to the Lake Chelan Shores development. All three runs end on a closed two-block stretch of Pedoi Street in Manson, right above the community’s marina. Participants are bused from Manson to the three starting points.
“This is one of the most scenic running events in the country,” Rhyner said. “No matter what run you do, you get views of the lake, the North Cascades in the distance, and vineyards.”
Rhyner, his wife Michele, and fellow organizer Steve Maher, all of Wenatchee, devoted more resources this year to marketing the race and the effort appears to have paid off. Participation should come close to doubling last year’s turnout of 220 runners.
“We’re happy with that because last year’s unusually hot temperatures gave some people the impression Lake Chelan is always that way in September,” Maher said. “We also are still combating the fact the event wasn’t held in 2010 when the previous race organizer was unable to pull it off.
“With the enthusiasm we’ve seen for this Saturday’s race, coupled with all the improvements we’ve made, we feel confident that Shore to Shore is back and back for good, and has incredible potential to grow in the years ahead,” Maher said.
Temperatures for this Saturday (when runners are scheduled to be on the course) are expected to range from 60 degrees to the low-70s. That’s still a little warmer than typical but nothing like last year’s scorching heat.
Rhyner suggests anyone participating hydrate this week. Each aid station will have water and/or sport drink. There will be plenty of water and food at the finish area in Manson.
Packet pickup will be at Vin du Lac Winery from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. The winery is offering a special dinner for runners. There will be a limited packet pickup from 5:30 to 7 a.m. Saturday at the North Shore Bible Church parking lot in Manson, the same spot where buses will transport participants to the three starting points.
People can register online through midnight Thursday at lakechelanmarathon.com or in person from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Vin du Lac Winery. There will be no day-of-race registration.
“We are really looking forward to the race,” Rhyner said. “Good weather, incredible scenery, Lake Chelan — what could be possibly be better?”