The City of Carmel has given the green light for the 11th annual Carmel Marathon to be conducted April 3.
Race director Todd Oliver said the total field size will be reduced from normal years. Oliver said there will likely be 3,000 participants compared to 5,000 in the past.
The 2020 race was initially postponed from April 4 to June 14 and then canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some runners chose to complete it on their own courses in a virtual race.
“We had close to 2,000 people who deferred their entry to 2021,” Oliver said. “Then another 500 to 600 people deferred to 2022 from 2020.”
There will be a few modifications to start times for the various distances, 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon.
Oliver said the event company staged two running events in September 2020 and one in December.
“They all went well with the same plan that we submitted to the Hamilton County Health Dept. to at least take a look at,” Oliver said. “We didn’t have one issue with people standing six feet apart or not wearing masks.”
One of the September events was in Hendricks County and the other two in Marion County. Plans for those races were made in conjunction with those counties’ health departments.
Oliver said the Carmel Marathon events will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that if participants can’t be six feet apart they have to wear a mask.
“We’re taking that a step forward saying everyone has to wear a mask when they arrive at the event and while they are standing in the crowds during the opening ceremonies,” Oliver said.
Oliver said masks will not have to be worn while running.
“Once they cross the finish line, they will be required to put the masks back on,” he said. “We will have masks for finishers through the finisher chutes.”
Oliver said interaction with volunteers will be reduced.
For instance, instead of volunteers handing water cups to runners, they will be placed on a table.
“It keeps the volunteers at least six feet away from the participants and there is no touching between the two,” Oliver said. “It’s a drag for the runners a little bit knowing they have to come to a full stop to get their cups.”
For more, visit carmelmarathon.com.