UPDATE MAY 25 2011 (from an excellent Canadian Running Magazine article by Mihira Lakshman)
Race director Gerry Walsh doesn’t believe the Blue Nose marathon needs a makeover after the route confusion and other problems with the race in 2011, following a string of similar mishaps in previous years. However, he has accepted an invitation from local competitive runners for a focus group for making changes. We’ll see how much change gets done if he is going in with the mind set no makeover is needed.
The many loops were to keep the geographic footprint small due to emergency routes and hospital zones, supposedly. You can buy that or not, but it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of other space around. Reversing on some of a less convoluted route is an acceptable option if looping is in place now, allowing runners to see elites coming back without crisscrossing. His focus group will tell him that and plenty more good suggestions from what I’ve been hearing by some people who will be there.
Gerry also regretted his controversial statement about elites “damaging the fabric of the event”. He clarified a year later he meant he wasn’t going to pay international athletes wanting appearance fees, but stopped short of apologizing. Ah, do you know good PR spin when you see it? I guess local elite athletes not participating wasn’t a concern then. And here we all thought we had a big fuss on our hands!
Good luck to the focus group! We’ll be awaiting to see what progress they’ll be able to make!