While the Boston Marathon mapped out course success right off the line in 1897 by mirroring the route that the inaugural Olympic Marathon used in 1896 to commemorate the mythological run of Greek messenger Pheidippides in 492 B.C. from Marathon to Athens, it hasn’t always been so easy for races to find their perfect routes.
It took the Los Angeles Marathon a quarter-century to design their “Stadium to Sea”course that perfectly matched the city’s postcard image of sun, surf and Hollywood. And the New York City Marathon ran four laps around Central Park for its first six years before expanding to its iconic five-borough route in 1976.
While there may be many roads to Rome, generally there is only one route in each city that will capture both its civic booster pride while bowing to the put upon non-runner citizens who must adjust to the road closures and traffic tie-ups on race day.
Yesterday, the original Rock `n` Roll Marathon in San Diego may have found its perfect layout in its 16th running, call it the “Park to Park” course, from its traditional start in Balboa Park to the new finish line outside the San Diego Padres home, Petco Park downtown. (more…)