First, I was lucky enough to have Neophyte TriDuRun for my 16M (he had 17) on tap. We had better weather than expected and only had to deal with the 17MPH winds for the second half of the run. We covered much of the LM course. Only later, did I discover something new.
They changed the LM course…again…I’m pretty sure. Now, before everyone grabs their pitchforks and torches, let me explain that the change (if it is an official change) is slight. But, we are 8 weeks out from the marathon and the course should only be changing because of some unforeseen event such as massive flooding or some equivalent act of god days before.
First, I discovered the change when I was clicking around on the LM webpage, noticing how they had not updated the ‘interactive map’ but discovering a PDF of the ‘new’ course was available on the marathon page. Only, it didn’t announce the course contained within was new; or even altered in any way. More like the casual—I hope you don’t notice—manner in which I answer the Redhead’s questions about how many Girl Scout Cookies I’ve ordered. “Yes, I only ordered 11 boxes from my niece.” Completely failing to admit I’ve secured those little combinations of joy and deliciousness from other enterprising Girl Scouts as well. So, I quickly check my email account because I’m sure, since they confirmed my registration via email, they sent out notification to all currently registered participants about the change. Only, they never sent me a confirmation email, they only took the money from my account. No email.
Nope, the LM dropped this in the most ‘just a take a look in case you are interested’ manner possible. Well, I am interested. And it was then that I noticed the added bulge just west of Pennsylvania and the missing ‘Potter Park loop.’ Hummm. I quickly go back to the ‘interactive map’ and notice the word-only course description remains unchanged. Ugh.
Then, in small lawyerly print on the bottom of the PDF I notice this little gem: “This route is preliminary, pending USATF certification.” Ugh.
Is the change huge? No. Does the change drastically alter the elevation by including or excluding a hill? No. Why make the change? I have no idea, but I’d love to find out. Does this make me worried that the route may change again in the next 8 weeks? Extremely. Why? Because one of the selling points to running this race is the opportunity to train on the actual marathon course. My own personal experience is that, small modifications to any of my usual running routes will take it from easy to difficult or extremely hard to average.
Even if this change does not alter the difficulty of the marathon, a final route would be wonderful.