A new Route 66 marathon footrace that will include the states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri was announced by the Joplin Visitors and Convention Bureau today.
The inaugural Route 66 Mother Road Marathon, set for Oct. 3, will begin in Miami, Okla., go east through Route 66 in Kansas and end at Seventh Street at Joplin Memorial Hall in downtown Joplin, Mo.
According to the Joplin bureau, other “special events” will be planned during the week of the marathon.
The Joplin Globe also reports that a half-marathon will be in June during the city’s Boomtown Days.
Prospective participants or volunteers should go to a sign-up form here.
UPDATE: The Globe filed an updated story. First, the marathon will be a qualifier for prestigious marathons in Boston and New York City. Also, David Knudson of the National Historic Route 66 Federation is quoted extensively.
My only concern is it might be still too warm for a marathon. Eighty- and even 90-degree days are still common in Oklahoma in October. Organizers had better start it early in the morning — before sunrise, even.
UPDATE2: Try as I might, I could not find a course on Google Maps from Miami, Okla., to downtown Joplin that’s less than 29 miles. Since a certified marathon race cannot go more than 26.2 miles, the organizers have a problem. Starting the race in nearby Commerce, Okla., or ending it in west Joplin near Schifferdecker Park would get it down to 26.2. But not in its current proposed format.