Due to the large increase in participation in the marathon and the relay , it has become necessary to relocate the second relay exchange zone.
Safety and logistics issues due to overcrowding at the Ullrhavn summit of Ester Dome have grown over the past few years, and, with the growth in this year’s field size, have reached a critical point. Thus, the need to relocate.
The new location will be somewhere in the saddle between the two sets of antennas. This location is near the half-marathon mark on the outbound leg of the Out-and-Back. The exchange will still take place on the return leg of the Out-and-Back, and will be located at approximately the 16.5-mile point of the marathon course. This change will effectively shorten the 2nd leg of the relay and lengthen the 3rd leg of the relay.
This change in location has been under discussion for over a year, so it is not a spur of the moment decision. However, between the increase in this year’s field size, and the changes to the course this year, it seems like this is the optimal time to make the move.
The exact location of the relay exchange is to be determined this week. Once we have determined the exact location, we will spread the news via the website, the listserv, and Facebook.
By moving the exchange zone, the number of people clustered at the Ullrhavn summit of Ester Dome should be substantially reduced. This should make it much easier for marathon, ultramarathon and relay runners to take advantage of feed stations and to interact with their support crews. The environment at Ullrhavn summit should be much less confusing for runners and spectators. It should be much easier for the shuttle buses to pass across the summit, as well. Buses will stop and drop off and pick up people only at the exchange zone area - not at Ullrhavn summit.
Relay logistics and timing should also benefit, and second-leg relay runners should have a much easier time locating and entering the exchange zone chute to make a handoff to their third-leg runners.
All in all, we see only benefits to this change of location, and no downside.
Equinox Marathon Organizing Committee