Good Question: What’s the future for the Rochester Marathon?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – It’s one of the biggest events any city can put on– a marathon. However, unlike many other things that have made a post-COVID return this hasn’t happened here.
Rochester hasn’t had a full marathon since 2019.
Here’s what race organizer Ellen Brenner-Boutillier told me last year as they were bringing racing back to the city in person: “So it was a very deep discussion that we had with respect to the full marathon, and given we’re just coming back with events have been decimated over the past year, and you have to come back slowly. And when we were looking at the resources angle everything from internally within our walls in addition to all the external resources that we required to produce the full marathon, we said you know what, we’re just trying to get back. Let’s get people back.”
As for this year? Still no marathon. It’s just the half and 5k.
Brenner-Boutillier told me never say never when it comes to bringing back the full race.
“At this point in time? It’s indeterminate. We don’t know. It really comes down to resources and funding. So because the marathon is a much larger endeavor to produce. So right now it’s indeterminate what’s going to happen. However, that being said, the half marathon distance is actually the more popular distance. We had way more people in the half marathon than we ever had in the full marathon. So being that it’s kind of like a product, it is the more popular products that you’re going to provide that product to the consumer.”
It’s easy to see why it hasn’t come back when you look at demand and resources. With a full marathon everything with the event is basically doubled. Also consider the finances. Private events like marathons and other festivals need security and traffic control. You hire out police to do that then reimburse the department. The longer, bigger the event the higher the cost.
As we wait on the future of the full marathon, go ahead and sign up for this year’s half or 5k if longer races aren’t your thing. You’ll see me out there on the course running the half again in September.