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Posted on August 9, 2018 at 1:31 PM by Michael Goens
Manhattan’s legion of high-visibility sporting events has grown substantially with the addition of Little Apple Marathon upcoming on Nov. 3. Tuttle Creek State Lake represents the perfect mid-fall backdrop for the inaugural race. Fall’s full effects will be showing on the reservoir shores and perfect 50’s race temps the norm for runners to have a nimble November jaunt.
Runners rejoice! The marathon course winds through Tuttle River Pond area on Beach Drive to Dyer Road on the park’s east boundary. Western Heritage Trail along the Big Blue River provides another scenic section before the route loops back to Beach Drive south of the Tuttle dam.
“We’ll have plenty of water stops and lots of volunteers,” said Ben Sigle, one of the event’s organizers with Manhattan Running Company and himself a multi-marathon and ultra-running pro. “We’ll make this a fun event with lots of music on the route.”
Ideal weather should greet runners
The clockwise, looping route provides a unique marathon course for Midwest marathoners selective about the finality of a season-ending run in 2018’s closing months. One certainty selectively places the Flint Hills Region on annual regional running lists marked for early spring and late fall.
Sultry summer months put optimal emphasis on the calendar to exploit milder temperature variants. This creates a circumstance where Wamego’s Wicked Marathon (March) and upcoming Little Apple Marathon are among the season’s first and last distance options in the region.
There’s only one inaugural Little Apple Marathon, which also offers half-marathon, marathon relay and 5-kilometer options. Runners already in moderate-to-good shape can find a 12-week workout guide to carry you into November's first week. The state park at Tuttle will not inhibit large traffic flow and produces a flat marathon terrain.
Advice for visitors driving near marathon course
One-lane access along Dyer Road on Nov. 3 will yield to runners heading south and parallel to Cedar Creek Road. Drivers are encouraged to detour on that route; otherwise, a pilot car will shuttle northbound and southbound traffic in what is usually the northward lane.
Marathon vets should expect a fast course.
“Little Apple Marathon will be a good course especially for people looking to run a good time,” Sigle said.
Sigle recently announced the fifth annual Bill Snyder Highway half-marathon finish in 2019 will descend the northeast ramp and finish on the football field. Another win for Midwest runners as Manhattan Running Company continues to expand promotions related to running events.
“Since we started the Snyder run, people have been wanting to know when we’re going to do a marathon. This is a unique situation as a Boston Marathon qualifier and for people who look to do 50 marathons in 50 states," Sigle said.
Midwest runners, mark Nov. 3 on your calendars for the first Little Apple Marathon. Spectators and runners alike can enjoy post-race lunch at The Little Grill with its specialty Jamaican menu. Kick your training into gear for the inaugural MHK marathon.
Manhattan Running Company Kansas Ultrarunners Society
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