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Thwarted NYC runners head to Seattle Marathon

Courtesy of Seattle Marathon Association

About 15,000 runners and walkers will wind through downtown Seattle on Sunday as part of the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon, and this year’s event will include a special contingent of runners who had expected to be racing on the other side of the country.

The New York Marathon is one of the premier distance races in the nation, but it was thwarted this year by the storm, Sandy. Seattle marathon organizers decided to reach out to the disappointed athletes enrolled in New York’s race. Renatta Emerson of the Seattle Marathon Association said those runners got a 20 percent discount, and about 130 are taking advantage.

“We really wanted to reach out to those runners who weren’t able to participate in the New York marathon this year. They’ve been training all year. There’s not that many fall races. And this gives them still an outlet to still reap the reward of all that work,” Emerson said.

The race departs from the Seattle Center Sunday morning, hits Mercer Island and Seward Park before snaking back toward Lake Union and the space needle. That will disrupt traffic patternsacross town and will take over the express laneson I-90 for much of the day.

Race day tends to feature typical Seattle Thanksgiving weather, but runners say the cool and clouds – even a little rain – are welcome conditions for a 26.2-mile slog.

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.