Letter to the Editor: Great Half Marathon!
The BALLOON HALF, a half marathon was held in Canton, Texas, a town of less than 5,000 people. Folks, that is a run of 13.109 miles. First, it requires a start and finish location to take care of at least 10,000 cars, skilled first responders, many volunteers, a safe well-marked course, facilities to put it all together, and upfront donations. Cities of 10 times the size of Canton, would not think of such an undertaking.
The Canton race started on the First Monday grounds, was run on two major, highly traveled state highways, through a city park on crushed gravel, and concrete paths, through neighborhoods, and on Farm to Market narrow roads. Sponsors and designers of races have nightmares in the design of this kind of course layout. The marathoners love them.
I traveled all over the USA to watch IRON MAN competitions. I once did the Dallas WHITE ROCK Half. I have spent the last 18 years studying distance runners and other athletes. The layout, markings, and safety features of the Balloon Half is the best marked, and runner-protected, I have ever seen.
The planning and the signage, water locations, and course protection took a lot of work, and money. The Sponsors came through. A local Coffee Company had free coffee for the runners. Well over 100 volunteers were at their posts in one of the six zones. The first responders and their communication systems were ready. The top runners were out at a fast pace. The pace biker was a pro. Top Runners will be back next year. The planners are already planning for next year. Canton is the Walking Capital of Texas.
Thank all of you whom made this a perfect Half Marathon,