Chanute-to-Iola marathon a great team event


November 18, 2013 - 12:00 AM

At last year’s Portland Alley Marathon participants complained about the strong north wind and how running from Chanute to Iola was a bear.
This year’s course was from Iola to Chanute. Wind gusts — from the south — topped out at 50 mph.
Oh well.
As any athlete will attest, fighting the elements is part of the experience.
About 90 participated, mostly made up of teams who ran segments of the 26.2-mile course in relay fashion. The more determined ran individual races of either the half- or the full marathon.
Along the way were stations that furnished much appreciated food and drink and the occasional portable potty.
Thanks go to Humboldt for opening its city hall and allowing participants to use its restrooms.
The race began at 8:30 a.m. on the Iola square and wrapped up around 12:30 p.m. in downtown Chanute.
The esprit de corps among runners and volunteers was supportive, enthusiastic and joyous as they traveled along the route encouraging their teammates to stay the course.
What made this year’s race superior to last year’s was the development of the Southwind Rail Trail, eliminating running on the hilly and narrow old highway between Iola and Humboldt. The new trail allowed safer passage, not to mention a more favorable grade.
Kudos to Thrive Allen County and Chanute organizers for providing a fun and neighborly event.
Next up, Iola’s annual Jingle Bell Jog on the afternoon of Dec. 21.
— Susan Lynn

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