Runners, especially half-marathon and marathon runners, are a special breed of people. We’ll spend nearly four months of our lives getting up early for long runs and develop blisters or chafe where we didn’t know we could in the process. 

No matter how faithful you were to your training plan, there will come a point in a long-distance race where you’re convinced this is how you’ll die and wonder why you thought this was a good idea in the first place. For me, it’s mile 10 of a half-marathon (I’ve run 22) and mile 22 of a marathon (I’ve run 7.) Your willpower takes over. You get across the finish line. You get your medal and a banana. The endorphins kick in and you think to yourself “That wasn’t so bad! Let’s do it again!” 

It’s a vicious cycle and it’s one that hundreds of us are going to experience after St. Luke’s FitOne on Saturday! Luckily, if you have that itch to get out and run another half-marathon or feel like stepping up to the marathon, you won’t have to wait long. 

Photo by Miguel A Amutio on Unsplash
Photo by Miguel A Amutio on Unsplash

The Boise Marathon is back on Sunday, October 23 with updated courses and a new starting line. This year, the 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon races will start and end at Julia Davis Park in conjunction with the Harvest on the Water Festival, which will also serve as the finish festival for the runners. Harvest on the Water will feature live music, something organizers weren’t able to include in the finish festival in 2021 due to COVID-19. 

In addition to the new starting line, organizers are taking big steps forward to make sure that this year’s race is a positive experience for every athlete on the course. This year, they put together a “runners board” to help advise the organizers. According to their website, that board includes Corum Hughes, the President of the Boise Area Runners and Brian Baker, a Boise-based running coach who’s completed over 100 full marathons. 

Photo by Jozsef Hocza on Unsplash
Photo by Jozsef Hocza on Unsplash

Participants will notice a significant increase in signage, turn arrows, mile markers and course marshals. Hughes and Baker were also part of the Runners Board for the Boise Spring Run and Neon Nights Run where the improvements were successfully road tested under race day conditions.   

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Since all of the Boise Marathon races are held on the Boise Greenbelt, the courses are flat and fast which might be a nice change of pace for half-marathoners who will tackle “Depot Hill” just before Mile 12 of the St. Luke’s FitOne Half. But…if hills are your thing, the Zeitgeist Half Marathon with four hills and 1,180 feet of elevation gain and loss returns for the first time since 2019 this fall. Their race is scheduled for November 5. 

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