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Auburn Endurance Capital Marathon now a reality

Northey slates inaugural event for April 22
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Jim Northey is of the firm belief the Auburn area should live up to its billing as the Endurance Capital of the World. The longtime Auburn resident already organizes several challenging cycling and mountain bike events throughout the year, but now he’s jumping into the oldest and most popular event in endurance sports. After months of planning and collaborating with local endurance enthusiasts, the Auburn Endurance Capital Marathon was born. Northey credits Auburn Police Chief John Ruffcorn and Auburn Recreation District’s Manouch Shirvanioun, among others, for helping him get the idea off the ground. The first-year event is scheduled for April 22. The course will begin at ARD’s Recreation Park. “It’s designed like the Olympic Trials were this year,” Northey explained. “There will be three laps and they’ll pass through the park every time. It was a lot of work getting the course finalized, but we did it.” Auburn and the surrounding areas are home to many endurance events, prompting the city to brand itself as the Endurance Capital nearly a decade ago. Northey felt like the marathon was a perfect addition to the schedule. “I joined the Endurance Capital Committee and I told them, we’ve got to put our money where our mouth is,” he said. The event is more than just a marathon. There will be a three-person relay option with each participant running one lap (roughly 8.6 miles). A five-kilometer run will be held simultaneously and several kids events are scheduled. Northey is unsure how many participants will show for the marathon. The event will not offer prize money, but professional marathoner Brad Poore is excited about the prospect of a 26.2-mile run in the town where he lives and trains. Poore committed to run the marathon and Jane Kibii, a Kenyan runner who has lived and trained in Auburn off and on for several years, plans to be involved with the children’s events. Northey said there will be no full road closures on the Sunday of the race. There will be a stretch of Auburn-Folsom Road that will be coned off for runners and there will be minimal traffic impact in downtown Auburn. Unlike many fast, flat marathons, the Auburn version will provide a hilly test. “It will definitely be challenging,” Poore said. Volunteers and sponsors are needed for the event, which begins at 7 a.m. For more information, visit www.endurancemarathon.org.