Late Sunday the message popped up in my email box – “Less than 2 weeks to go until race day!”
The 2022 Tallahassee Marathon and Half Marathon both start at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, downtown on Monroe Street across the street from the Florida Capitol.
The last time I ran the Tallahassee Marathon was in 2016 when I posted my slowest time for the Tallahassee race, 3:41:57.
I would be very happy to run that time again. This year, however, I feel confident I will cross that 4-hour mark. I have always been a fan of running the Tallahassee Marathon, our hometown marathon.
It was my first marathon (February 1985) and if I am successful this year it will be my 12th Tallahassee Marathon and second Tallahassee Marathon since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
The Tallahassee Marathon has always been well-organized and a special event. It takes a lot of work to make it happen.
A qualifying course
Sheryl Rosen has been the director of the event for five years now and has guided it through the tempest of COVID-19 and many other difficult challenges. She was in fact recognized as GWTC Race Director of the year in 2019 for her good work. The race was canceled in 2021 due to COVID.
The race, which was first run in March of 1975, has had many locations, including Silver Lake, Doak Campbell Stadium, Killearn Estates, Wacissa Springs, Tallahassee Nurseries, the Mile Long Track at FSU, and downtown Tallahassee. Each has provided its own unique views of Tallahassee.
The course has been flat, and it has been hilly. But it has always been carefully tended to with great volunteers and quality race directors. The Tallahassee Half Marathon was first run Feb. 11, 1984. It has become one of Tallahassee’s largest races.
The Tallahassee Marathon is a USATF sanctioned event, and both the marathon and half marathon races are run on USATF certified courses. The Tallahassee Marathon is also a qualifying course for the Boston Marathon.
A Capitol start
The races now begin on Monroe Street across the street from the Florida Capitol. Runners begin travelling north through Downtown before turning onto the rolling hills of the Glenview Drive residential area, through trendy Midtown, and on the tree-lined Calhoun Street and Franklin Boulevard.
After passing the Smoky Hollow Commemoration, runners loop around Cascades Park beside ponds and open green spaces, then climb the Lafayette Street hill to pass through the beautiful Myers Park neighborhood.
The runners next enjoy a long downhill as they cross the Capital Cascades Crossing pedestrian bridge and run along FAMU Way, getting into the Rattler spirit with Florida A&M University to the left and the funky Railroad Square Art Park to the right.
After that the half marathon runners head toward Florida State University, and the full marathon runners turn onto the pancake-flat St. Marks Trail, a paved footpath in a former railroad bed with sections of tree canopy to enjoy.
Still time to register
In the middle of the St. Marks Trail section, the course runs alongside Lake Henrietta and through the Jake Gaither neighborhood, named for the legendary Florida A&M University football coach.
The full marathon runners then re-join the half marathon course and make their way to Florida State University, passing through the Stadium Drive pedestrian tunnel leading past Doak Campbell Stadium and Dick Howser Stadium.
The course then crosses through the southwestern end of campus and through the CollegeTown district’s Madison Mile to the finish line.
Numbers are looking good so far with total runners registered at 831 (168 in marathon, 575 in the half and 88 in the relay. It is not too late to register and run the full or the half.
Just follow the link runsignup.com/Race/FL/Tallahassee/tlhmarathon. There are still volunteer places that need to be filled.
Go to https://signup.com/go/eCvteLO; it shows the open spots and allows anyone to sign up for the spot and time that works for them. Interested volunteers can also write to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
David Yon is addicted to running. In his spare time, he is an attorney with the Radey Law Firm.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Tallahassee Marathon is back for 2022 with 800+ runners