Smooth sailing for improved Shiprock marathon
The idea that things get better with age is true for the Shiprock Marathon.
The 36th marathon is Saturday, May 4, and coordinators and volunteers are preparing for one of the most improved events yet.
Race Director Tom Riggenbach said this year’s marathon will feature unique changes and it has been smooth sailing, for the most part.
“I feel really, really confident,” Riggenbach said. “It feels really good right now.”
Festivities feature the marathon, which begins on Saturday at 7 a.m., and relays. The kids’ marathon final mile will take place tomorrow at 5 p.m., and the 5K & 10K trail race will follow on Friday at 6 p.m.
Perhaps the biggest change this year is with the half-marathon. To create a safer and efficient environment for runners, Riggenbach said a runners’ village will be set up at the start line.
There, runners will have similar amenities as those at the finish line, such as food, drinks, a baggage area, live music, and more, all of which will be arranged under a large tent.
Derrick Zahne, half-marathon coordinator, said in previous years half-marathon runners would hang out on the highway, which often left it congested.
Riggenbach said the half-marathon is one of the most popular races, which is also why changes were made.
He said the race is capped at 800 participants and in recent years all slots get filled in the days leading up to the race.
“The half and marathon relays are popular,” he said. “Both of those races appeal to a lot of people. It’s been a challenge to keep up with that growth.