Lansing Gears Up for 2nd Marathon

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The Lansing Marathon is quickly approaching it's second year and organizers could not be more excited.

"Whether it be as a runner, a jogger, a walker, a volunteer, a spectator, supporter, sponsor, we just want this to be a real community event," said Owen Anderson, the founder and director of the Lansing Marathon.

The marathon is scheduled for April 20-21, 2013. Thus far, about 250 runners are registered, but organizers expect that number to grow to about 3,000.

The 2013 course will be slightly different. One of those changes is more of the course will be along the River Trail. Other changes include a shift in the weekend schedule. Friday there will be a high carb, pasta dinner for marathon runners. Saturday is designed to be family friendly, with a 5K and kids 1K. Sunday will have the half, relay and full marathon races.

For the second year in a row, the official sponsor of the race is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

"People can be active in so many different ways, and there are different levels," said Tricia Keith, the vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. "Not everyone who comes out has to be an elite athlete running 26.2 miles. There are ways to get children off the couch. You know, childhood obesity is such a issue for Michigan right now."

Last year's race wasn't perfect.

"Undertaking a marathon is a very expensive venture. We did not make money in 2012. We actually lost money, and we are actually still paying off some of our bills," said Pam Jodway, the assistant race director. "We intend to make that back and then some as we build on this in years two and beyond."

While the race didn't make money, many local businesses did. Organizers say half of last year's runners weren't from the region.

"We also had runners come as far away as from China, and from states like California, Texas, New York, Florida, so we had a lot of people coming in," said Jodway.

"It's a great way to get your employees, to get your associates fired up, and also to improve their health," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. "Now I'm not saying that they don't have to jump right in and run the 26 all at once, you are going to have a variety of options."

Organizers also hope to create more areas where spectators can cheer on the runners.

"The folks that did come out, came out with cowbells and pompoms and signs encouraging people to do well, so we really want to give them more opportunity to do that," said Jodway.

They hope to build momentum from 2012 and make 2013 even better.

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