07.01.08 10 years ago 11 Comments

To prepare for a marathon, you have to spend months building up endurance through repeated agonizing, knee-killing training runs, having your nipples bleed and buying lame singlets that get you laughed at, only so when you tell people you did it, they can reply "That's cool. I hate running." With that much effort, you'd think someone could get to the start line in time. Nope.

About 400 runners, including some who organizers say spent months training for Sunday's Seafair Marathon, missed shuttle buses to the starting line and didn't start the race, even though it was delayed by 15 minutes after organizers realized there was a transportation problem.

The buses, paid for by Seafair, began transporting runners from Bellevue Downtown Park to the Husky Stadium starting line at 5 a.m. Organizers scheduled 30 First Student school buses to make four trips each with a capacity of about 50 people, Seafair spokesman Dan Wartelle said.

The marathon's Web site "strongly recommended" runners arrive early for the 15-minute shuttle. But more people than expected arrived for later buses and the final 6:45 a.m. shuttle.

Speaking from experience, you really don't want to get there at the last minute and be stuck at the back of the pack at the start. Then you're cramped so closely with the other stragglers, you can hardly move through the first mile. It's like trying to run through a stadium concourse only without souvenir bat with which to smash people. As soon as you spot one of those gel belts, you'll wish you had one.

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