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Recreation

Run CRANDIC Marathon ready for second year

Organizers learned a few things during inaugural event

Runners depart from the starting line for the inaugural Run CRANDIC Marathon in Cedar Rapids’ New Bo neighborhood on April 30, 2018. This year’s race will start in Iowa City and end in Czech Village. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Runners depart from the starting line for the inaugural Run CRANDIC Marathon in Cedar Rapids’ New Bo neighborhood on April 30, 2018. This year’s race will start in Iowa City and end in Czech Village. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — By all accounts, the inaugural Run CRANDIC Marathon was a success last spring.

That doesn’t mean, however, tweaks weren’t needed for the second annual race, slated for Sunday.

Last year’s finish area outside Kinnick Stadium, for instance, was a bit of a headache for participants and race officials.

“The finish line didn’t work out so well,” said Melissa McCarville, communications manager for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance — one of three entities that help run the event.

McCarville not only helped plan last year’s race, she ran the half-marathon — and took notes.

“It was so crowded,” she said.

So this year’s event — which reverses course and starts in Iowa City and ends in Cedar Rapids — will not offer a 5K on Sunday, the day of the marathon and half-marathon races. The “5Kish” and “10Kish” fun runs are Saturday near Big Grove Brewery & Taproom in Iowa City and can be run anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The half-marathon will start and finish in Czech Village on Sunday and the marathon will start at Lower City Park in Iowa City and also end near the Lion Bridge.

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The other lesson learned last year was the three organizations needed a singular voice. Think Iowa City and Corridor Running Club also collaborate to “produce” the race, but this year Jill Wilkins was hired as race director to “flow between the three organizations,” Wilkins said.

“It’s been very beneficial,” she said. “All of us are working in tandem.”

There were nearly 1,600 runners signed up as of Thursday morning, down from last year’s 2,687 finishers (740 in the marathon). That, McCarville said, is to be expected since most don’t run the same marathon year-after-year like a 5K or 10K and many like running an inaugural event.

“We’re pleased with the numbers,” she said. “It’s a manageable number.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8696; jr.ogden@thegazette.com

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