June 13, 2018 1:36 pm

From miles to manpower, the numbers behind the annual Manitoba Marathon

WATCH: Most runners train for months ahead of the Manitoba Marathon. For organizers, the event is an entire year in the making. Adriana Zhang reports.

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WINNIPEG — From start to finish, for must runners, the Manitoba Marathon is over in just a few hours. However, before any runner even gets to the starting line, an entire year of work has gone into making sure the streets are race-ready.

Operations Manager Laurie Penton has worked behind the scenes for 27 years.

“It’s just such a big job to put on this five-hour event for thousands of people to run 26 miles all along the city streets.”


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Penton manages a technical team of about 70 people.

“To make a great day for runners is what we do. So everything from bags of ice, to arches to start-finish line, medals and t-shirts.”

Working under that technical team is an average of 1500 volunteers every year. They do everything from measuring the 26.2 mile course, to setting up about 400 special signs, 300 traffic barricades, and roughly 500 traffic cones along 250 intersections throughout the race course.

READ MORE: ’79ers’ lace up once again for 40th Manitoba Marathon

More than 10,000 runners attend every year, all looking to stay hydrated. That’s where 15,200 litres of water comes into play, along with 107,000 compostable cups.

Although many of those cups are left on the trail, organizers said there’s a huge effort to reduce their footprint.

“We make good buying choices, but we also have a team of people that actually collects every single piece of garbage,” Rachel Munday, Executive Director of the Manitoba Marathon, said.

READ MORE: Better Winnipeg: Manitoba Marathon runs a super green race in recycling

Since 2007, a group of volunteers known as the Green Team has managed to divert 82 per cent of 33,305 pounds of waste it into compost and recycling.

“As we look back at the 40 years, certainly we think about all the people who have contributed to the success of the event.”

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