Gay Games Marathon Route Changed

Thu. July 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Weather, athlete safety prompt change by organizers

Chicago, IL - Chicago organizers of the Gay Games announced today that the Saturday, 22 July 2006 Gay Games marathon route has changed to more adequately ensure the safety of the athletes. The Marathon will start and finish at the lakefront just north of 31st street beach, just south of McCormick Place. The course will take the runners south on lakefront trails to 49th street and then back north near the start locations. Marathon runners will run four loops of the lakefront course. Half-Marathon runners will run two loops. The course will no longer go north to Fullerton as planned.

Check-in for athletes is at 5 am, start-time is at 6 am. Parking for athletes, volunteers and spectators is available at the 31st Street Beach parking lot (free). Additional spectator parking is available at the McCormick Place Underground Parking which opens at 5 am (fees apply).

"Changing to a shorter looped course will help ensure the safety of the runners," said Nancy Harris, Logistics Director. "Last weekend's extreme heat led us to re-evaluate the longer course and conclude that for athlete safety we need to position water and relief stations much closer together than traditionally provided in a marathon. The new course ensures that marathon runners will always be much closer to trained volunteers and medics so that any health-related issues may be handled immediately." The decision was made in cooperation with City of Chicago officials.

Volunteers are still needed for the marathon. Those who are interested in helping with traffic management and water delivery can contact Jeff Allen at Spectators are welcome at the Gay Games marathon to help cheer-on the runners. There is no cost to watch the marathon.