Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Big Island Marathon Makes New York News

  The Star Gazette Newspaper, from Elmira, New York, published the following story in their sports page on July 28, 2010 which highlights the Wineglass Marathon and the relationship formed with our very own Big Island International Marathon.  The story was written by Teresa Haight.

Elmira, New York

 Haight column: Wineglass Marathon drawing a lot of interest

The 29th Wineglass Marathon and Merrill Lynch Team Relay will be held Oct. 3, beginning in Bath and finishing in Corning.

Registration is quickly filling up for this annual event, with more than 1,100 individual marathoners currently registered. The cutoff for the individual registrations has been increased to 1,550.

Relay team registrations are currently at 50, with a cutoff at 150 in order to accommodate the increase in individual registrations.

There has been a huge increase in interest in the Wineglass Marathon from across the country for this year’s event. The event has a history of never closing before the day of the event, but don’t wait until the last minute to register because late entries may not be accepted.

One of the limiting factors may become the ability of the local area to house all the out-of-town runners at area hotels.

Landin & Big Dog exchange marathon shirts

                                Wineglass Marathon race director Mark Landin met with Big Island International Marathon race director Wayne Joseph in downtown Market Street in Corning in June. Joseph was on a 5,000-mile promotional tour of the Hilo, Hawaii, race in an effort to attract more participants from New York state.

The Hilo Marathon takes place in March through bamboo rainforest and over wooden bridges and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful marathons in the world.

According to John Elliot of marathonguide.com, there are 800 marathons in the world this year, with half of them in the United States.

Joseph heard about the Wineglass Marathon and decided to contact Landin in hopes of promoting the Wineglass Marathon in Hawaii, and the Hilo event in New York.

Landin is an avid runner and has spent years on the road either running in races or hosting them.

When Joseph met Landin, he was just recovering from putting together a first-time race for the city of Corning, an 8K (just short of five miles) that coincided with the first Glass Festival.

“First-time events are always difficult to coordinate,” Landin said. “The city wanted to find something to replace the LPGA (Corning Classic), which had their final event last year due to financial reasons. That’s why they came up with the idea to host a Glass Festival and have a road race to go along with it.”

Landin, like most race organizers around the country, is relied upon by the community to use his knowledge and expertise to put on events that attract outside residents and promote tourism.

The Wineglass Marathon has attracted close to 800 marathoners each year. Recently voters in a Runner’s World survey selected the Wineglass as the “speediest” 26.2-mile race in the nation.

“Our cool fall temperatures, and relatively flat course, make for fast times by most people,” Landin said.

The event is always held the first weekend in October and is considered one of the most spectacular marathons, with the tree leaves turning colors.

Landin was the director of the Wineglass Marathon from 1993 to 1997 before moving to Asia as part of his job with Corning Inc.

Once Landin returned from Asia he was quickly recruited back to organizing the Wineglass event. It was Landin who redesigned the course to its “speediest” status.

“We had previously had a course that started at the bottom of a long hill, about four miles from where we start today,” he said.

By changing the course Landin was able to get the finish line moved to downtown Corning, which made it relatively flat with a slight downhill net elevation drop. That made for a super-fast qualifying course for those interested in trying to make the Boston Marathon.

“I expect that with the positive articles from Runner’s World over the past few years we will continue to grow as we are considered by many to be a ‘best kept secret’ in terms of a race in this part of the country,” Landin said.

Hilo’s own David Hammes, a professor of economics at the University of Hawaii-Hilo was in Corning last October and had rave reviews for the fast course and the many amenities that went with finishing the race. He said he would definitely do this race a second time if he’s ever in the area again.

“We usually get one or two marathoners from Hawaii each year,” Landin said. “Most of our runners come from states where the driving time to Corning is five hours or less.”

Additional information on the Wineglass Marathon can be found at www.wineglassmarathon.com.

And if you ever thought about traveling to Hilo, Hawaii, in March, then you might run in one of the most beautiful marathons in the Pacific. There is also a half-marathon and 5K.

Big Flats resident Jake Arkin is the designer for the Hilo Marathon website: www.hilomarathon.org.

Anyone who plans to travel to Hawaii to participate in his Hilo race can contact Joseph at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

August 1, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment