Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A week ago yesterday "the Flood of 2012" hit Duluth and the surrounding area. Keenan noted that 10 inches of rain fell within 24 hours near his house, a mile uphill from London Road. While his house was spared, many other areas in the city were not as fortunate, and that's where the "what ifs" begin. What impact would such a natural disaster have on the events of Grandma's Marathon weekend?
"I haven't inspected the course North of the 11 mile mark(of the marathon course)," said Keenan, but from what he's seen of the last 16.2 miles it is conceivable that the race could have been run if the damage wasn't worse in the first 11 miles. The race organizers have contingency plans for a wide variety of issues, weather being one of them, Keenan said. Temperature, wind, rain are all factored into these contingencies, but the most threatening element of Mother Nature that Keenan fears is lightening.
Outdoor sporting events, from kids'sports to professional sports events that are held in outdoor arenas, all have guidelines of how to deal with lightening. If Grandma's events were ever to be cancelled due to nature's interference, says Keenan, the likely culprit would be a thunderstorm, which was a possibility prior to this year's race. Forecasts included the possibility of a lightening storm on race morning.
Thus, race officials were carefully monitoring the weather conditions and holds were put on transporting the runners out to the starting line until the all clear was given regarding the weather, said Keenan. The thunderstorm in the forecast missed Duluth and Two Harbors and the day turned near perfect for the participants. The damage inflicted on the area in the flood that hit the week after the race will take some time to repair, but Keenan says that he expects the course to be ready in the Fall in time for the NorthShore Inline Marathon roller blade event in September.
There are no options or contingency plans for rerouting Grandma's Marathon, said Keenan, because the only alternate route from Two Harbors is the freeway. Keenan takes pride in the fact that there have only been two relatively minor course alterations in the nearly four decades the race has been run. He doesn't forsee any course changes for the 37th running scheduled for June 22, 2013. Registration for the marathon begin this Sunday, July 1. For more information click HERE.
Posted by jdf at 1:29 PM