Any marathon is a grueling test of physical and mental endurance, but Chicago's Lakeshore Marathon was extra tough this year: The course was inadvertently set a mile too long.
More than 500 runners finished the Memorial Day race, running 27.2 miles instead of the standard 26.2.
The long layout of the state's only spring marathon, as well as problems such as missing mile markers and unstaffed aid stations, led some runners to urge the city to stop issuing permits for the Lakeshore Marathon until it's under new management.
Race founder and organizer Mark Cihlar issued an apology on www.marathonguide.com Thursday. Last-minute changes "caused us to miscalculate and we foolishly added an extra mile -- how terrible!" he wrote in a memo to race participants.
Cihlar, who has had sole responsibility for 90 percent of the marathon's planning for the past four years, said he plans to relinquish control over event coordination and is seeking qualified directors and coordinators to help on the 2006 race.
Marathon entrant and attorney Hugh Mainard of Chicago said that's not enough. Mainard was so upset that he complained about Cihlar to the officials at the Chicago Area Runners Association, the Chicago Department of Special Events, the Chicago Park District and the Boston Athletic Association.
"It's hard for me to fathom how someone can get the most basic element of a race wrong," Mainard said.
-- From News Services