2013 Lake Chelan the biggest yet

CHELAN — The 12th-annual Lake Chelan Shore to Shore Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K set for this Saturday is shaping up as the best ever.

Race organizers are gearing up for a record field of 600 runners this weekend and are pulling out all the stops to make sure the event goes smoothly.

It will be the largest distance running race ever held at Lake Chelan. The previous record was last year’s mark of 400 runners for Shore to Shore. The annual ChelanMan Multisport Weekend in July includes a half-marathon and 10K. This year, that event had 345 athletes that part in those two races.

RunWenatchee, which took over managing the Shore to Shore event on behalf of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce in 2011, has seen registration increase from 220 runners the first year to 400 last year to the 600 set to run this Saturday.

“We are very happy with the growth we’ve seen,” said Steve Maher, Shore to Shore marketing director. “In race circles, breaking the 500-participant mark for a road event is considered a big deal.”

Through Tuesday, 69.3 percent of those who had registered are women and 81.5 percent live outside Chelan and Douglas counties, with the largest number (45.5 percent) hailing from the Puget Sound area, Maher said. Runners are coming from as far away as Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and California.

The event is expected to generate an estimated $390,000 for the local economy through the purchase of lodging, goods and services.

“We’ve spent considerable resources and time on catering to the individual runner and that is starting to really pay off,” said race director Joel Rhyner. “Some of the improvements have been smaller in nature, like making sure every finisher gets a medal, while others have been bigger, such as adding more bus shuttles and traffic control measures and official starting gates. Taken as a whole, the changes have had a positive impact and runners recognize we want this event to be an enjoyable experience for them.”

This Saturday’s Shore to Shore has attracted more runners in all three of its point-to-point races, including the marathon, which typically sees a lesser number of entrants. The marathon field is expected to top 140 runners on Saturday. A year ago, it attracted 42 athletes. The record for the Shore to Shore marathon was set in 2004 when 49 runners competed in the race.

“We thought if we could ever get 100 runners (for the marathon), we’d be doing great,” Rhyner said.

The 26.2-mile marathon begins at 7 a.m. on the south shore of Lake Chelan just past Field’s Point Landing; the half-marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. on the south shore between Karma Vineyards and Pat and Mike’s store; and the 10K will take off at 8 a.m. from the north shore on Highway 150 near the Lake Chelan Shores Development.

To ensure the safety of runners, several lane closures will be in place during the day on South Lakeshore Drive, Highway 150 and Manson residential streets. More than 100 volunteers will be out on the race course, staffing aid stations and helping in other ways.

All three races end in Manson on Pedoi Street adjacent to Manson Bay Park. Participants are bused in the morning from Manson to their respective starting points.

Packet pickup will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Vin du Lac Winery, 105 Highway 150, Chelan, and from 5:30 to 7 a.m. Saturday at the North Shore Bible Church parking lot, 123 Wapato Way, Manson.

The race benefits the Chelan High School Wrestling Program, the Manson High School Cross Country Team, and the local chapter of Girls on the Run.

Sponsors include the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, Vin du Lac Winery, KOZI Radio, North Cascades National Bank, Cashmere Valley Bank, Devil’s Gulch Drinkery, SET Coaching, Project Groundwork, Crunch-Pak, Caffe Mela, Eugene Marathon, and Advocare.

 

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