Boise Marathon ended up being a disaster for runners

Posted at 3:44 PM, Oct 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-31 19:13:39-04

BOISE, Idaho — Last Sunday we brought you a short piece on the Boise Marathon and during the last week, we received several complaints from runners on how this marathon was organized.

It rained all day on Sunday as runners braved tough conditions to come out and run while paying anywhere from $25 to $145 depending on what race they signed up for and when.

Michael Postaski of Boise won this race in 2019 setting a course record, he has finished 14 road marathons and finished third in this year's marathon which might have been his toughest race for all the wrong reasons.

"I think it was very lucky that nobody got into a dangerous situation," said Postaski.

There were horror stories from runners who got lost in the 5K and the 10K, a runner in the half marathon ended up running five extra miles and the leaders of the marathon all got lost along the Greenbelt because the course was not properly marked.

"We came to these points especially the second bridge and there was no sign and that was the major turn," said Postaski. "I said wow, I’m shocked I don’t know what is going to happen now the first place runner that was in front of us ran by that bridge, and all three of us did not run the actual course we all ran off course at different points."

As runners got deeper into the course they found aid stations that were either not set up or were not prepared, runners also complained about a lack of Gatorade and snacks at the aid station although we were at one of the first aid stations and there were a few cups of Gatorade.

One of the first aid stations in Ann Morrison Park

Postaski told us he passed four or five abandoned aid stations that had cups still in the packages sitting next to a cooler.

"We are not stopping to unpackage cups and fill up water from a cooler like that is crazy," said Postaski. "We finally got to the one at the very end before the turnaround it was at fifteen miles one guy was there but there was one cup of water on the table filled up, I was dumbfounded, I couldn’t believe it."

At that point, Postaski and another runner were together and they had to wait to get their water before they could continue on, Postaski told us the runner, who was from Spokane and originally from Senegal, ran with Postaski because he didn't want to get lost again.

"It was his first marathon and he was fast enough to win the race, but he was afraid to get lost so he stuck with me for 16 miles," said Postaski. "He pretty much cost himself a chance to win the race because he didn't want to get lost."

When the runners reached the finish line they didn't get their t-shirts and had to hunt down their medals saying there couldn't find any race organizers that were still there.

"That was a first for me, typically they have people there like sometimes putting it around your neck or handing it to you," said Postaski. "That’s a big thing you train for three or four months and somebody puts a medal around your neck that’s a cool thing."

We reached out to race organizers but never heard back, but this was their response to the runners they sent out in an email on Thursday.

First and foremost we want to offer our sincerest apologies for the Boise Marathon 2021. We have taken all of the feedback we have received into account and will be using it all during our planning process for 2022. With all of the major gaps and missteps that occurred during this run, we will be taking steps to create a Runner’s Board to help consult on all of our runs and ensure this does not happen again. We value our relationship with the city of Boise and the running community and will make things right for all those who were negatively impacted. There are no excuses as this falls solely on us.

Julie Sanchez Race Director

Postaski told us he won't run this marathon if it happens again and people travel for marathons giving Boise an opportunity to showcase our city and the vibrant running community, but that took a hit with this race.

"The toughest part is having it be a black eye for the City of Boise," said Postaski. "It’s called the Boise Marathon and people are going to go back from the places they have traveled from, people really put in an effort trying to qualify for Boston and I feel for the first-time runners it's just a shame."

Other problems that racers complained about were the packet pick-up, trash being left on the course and a lack of restrooms.

For runners who never got their t-shirt race organizers have put together a couple of times in the coming weeks to collect those and they will mail shirts to people who are not local.