UPDATE: Chattanooga Marathon runners allowed to qualify for Bost - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Chattanooga Marathon runners allowed to qualify for Boston Marathon

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Chattanooga Marathon announced Tuesday after months of working with the Boston Athletic Association, runners will be allowed to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon.

The Chattanooga Marathon says runners that achieved qualifying performances at the marathon can register for the Boston Marathon later this fall. 

The inaugural Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon came up short by .28 of a mile in March. 

After months of waiting, many runners finally got the good news they hoped for.

"I was kind of just like, "oh my gosh!' and my coworker next to me was like "what? what's happening?" and I was like "I got the news!"

Local runner Melanie Novack just found out her hard work will be rewarded.

"The fact that they are taking it is great, in my opinion, it just shows that they care," Novack said.

The president of the Chattanooga Sports Committee said they've worked with the Boston Athletic Association for months to try to get the adjusted times accepted.

In the running community, achieving a Boston qualifying-time is something to which many marathon runners aspire.

Soon each of the 529 runners who finished will get an adjusted time posted to the results page.

Novack said it's more than she expected from the organizers.

"They could have just been like I'm sorry for the mix up, get them next year or run another race, but I think that's just a Chattanooga mindset like they care about other people," she said.

Click here for FAQ's on registering for the 2017 Boston Marathon. 


PREVIOUS STORY:  Another running event, another mishap. Recent races in Chattanooga have come up short, throwing off runners. 

Channel 3 broke this story Wednesday morning after officials with the inaugural Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon admitted the course of Sunday's race came up short. 

There were 3,249 paid registrations, and more than 600 participated in the full 26.2 marathon. Organizers with the Chattanooga Marathon assured runners on Friday that the race would be accurate. 

SIMILAR ERROR IN 2015 | Runners upset over 7 Bridges Half Marathon errors

President of Chattanooga Sports Committee Tim Morgan said on Friday, "We brought in a guy for literally 2 days and he had a police escort to measure every single inch of the course."

Morgan told Channel 3 news on Wednesday that the course was measured correctly but the barriers were misplaced, making the full marathon .28 miles short or 1,478.39 feet.

"Unfortunately during the set up we put it two blocks shorter than it should have been," said Morgan. 

The mistake happened at the St. Elmo turnaround. Runners were supposed to turn at 51st street but instead made the turn .14 miles early at 49th street. Long time runners Matt Mclelland and Jackson Wingfield said it's no surprise, they ran in the full marathon on Sunday and knew early on that their times were off. 

"This would be a big deal for people looking for a personal record and it would be important to people trying to qualify for Boston Marathon," said Mclelland. 

"I think it is probably a tough blow for them," said Wingfield. "They put a lot into it. The event was well organized with lots of volunteers. They did a great job and it's just too bad they're getting any kind of negative attention right now." 

Wingfield had a personal best but he wasn't using the race to qualify for any others.

"Oh I'm still counting my PR (personal record), I'm not going to let that be taken away from me," said Wingfield. 

Any of the 529 marathon finishers who want to use Sunday's race to qualify for others, including the 2017 Boston Marathon, will have to wait. Organizers say the Boston Athletic Association has requested more information about the mistake. It will then be up to the BAA whether to validate adjusted times. The Chattanooga Marathon error has no bearing on the 2016 Boston Marathon because it occurred after the qualifying window, which closed September 2015.  

"In order to correct that problem moving forward, we will invest additional dollars to make sure we put permanent markings down to insure the distance and things are set up according to these permanent markers," said Morgan. 

While some runners say they're disappointed, others say they're thankful for the experience. 

"It was a great day. The city was beautiful, fans were out, it was very well organized," said Mclelland. " It was a great day." 

Runners in the half marathon were not affected. Organizers say they will post adjusted times once they have confirmation the qualifying times can be used in Boston. In the meantime, they're offering a limited discount for all runners through Sunday. You can find out more information on their website at chattanoogamarathon.com 

In October another race on Chattanooga streets fell short. The 4 Bridges Half Marathon was more than half-a-mile short. The full marathon was accurate. Organizers told Channel 3 the mistake was realized last minute and was the result of miscommunication with city officials and police. The finisher medals also had two typos, blamed on a third-party vendor.  


PREVIOUS STORY: Organizers are putting the finishing touches on the course of the Chattanooga Marathon. 

While Chattanooga is no stranger to runners, it is the first race to be put on by the city. 

"Everything kind of plays a role in your race day success," Jessica Marlier said. 

Marlier knows all about race day success. She's ran 25 marathons, four of those in Boston. 

On Sunday, she's helping marathoners by running a pace group. 

"You want it to be accurate so you can really see all of your hard work pay off," Marlier added. 

While runners have been busy training, race officials have been busy checking accuracy all the way down to the inch.

READ MORE| Road closures for the Chattanooga Marathon

 "We brought a guy in for literally two days and he had a police escort to measure every single inch of the course," President of Chattanooga Sports Committee Tim Morgan said. 

Why? Some runners may be leery after a different race in October turned out to be half a mile short. Morgan understands and said this course is certified by USA Track and Field and also gives runners the chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon. 

"We are all aware of the fear factor that some runners may have and I assure you that we measured the course to the distance," he added. 

"If it's a little bit short or a little bit long, you're not going to get a fair idea of what kind of time you can really run, so I think it's really important for the course to be accurate," Marlier said. 

If you'd like to register to race, it's not too late. 

Keep in mind, there's also a half marathon, 5K and fun run for kids.

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