Race Info > Wave Start Information


In order to help alleviate course crowding, the Marathon will utilize a rolling wave start. Runners have been seeded into starting waves based on their qualification times.

Waves will be divided in to separate areas, identified by markings on the ground and volunteers holding signs, providing enough space for runners to stay socially distanced within their wave area while they wait for the race to start.


There will be 8 waves of approximately 100 runners each.   Waves 1-5 will line up on Manitou Ave east of the starting line; waves 6-8 will group in Memorial Park while they wait to take their place on the street.

As each wave departs, runners in the successive waves will be escorted forward until they reach the starting area.   There will be signs at the start of each zone indicating what bib numbers should be in that zone, and volunteers will be available to assist runners with questions.

Since the race is CHIP TIMED, a runner’s time is based on exactly when they cross the start and the finish line.   There is no penalty for starting further back, as it is the CHIP TIME that counts and not the time from when the first wave begins.

When a runner’s wave is in the second position behind the starting wave, they will follow these steps:

  1. Wait until all runners from the start area wave have crossed the start line.
  2. Upon direction from the committee and volunteers, move forward and position yourself on one of the 100 marks on the ground in the start wave area.   Marks will be divided in to rows of 10 stretching from curb to curb across Manitou Avenue, and rows will be spaced out to ensure social distancing.
    NOTE: These marks ensure social distancing, which is required for us to hold the race this year.   Please be cooperative and follow the instructions provided by the committee and volunteers.
  3. With the Starter’s command, the 10 runners in the first row will go.   All other runners will remain in place.
  4. With the Starter’s next command, the 10 runners in the second row will take off from their second row position.   Upon the next command, the third row of 10, fourth row, etc. will all go on the Starter’s command until the tenth row in the starting wave is told to go.
    NOTE: Runners in the tenth row of the starting wave will be started while they are still standing in the tenth row.   They may jog or run forward until they are ready to cross the starting line.   Since the race is CHIP TIMED, a runner’s time does not start until they cross the Start Line.
  5. Once all 10 rows in the start wave area are clear, runners in the next wave will be moved forward to take their spot on one of the 100 marks on the ground in the start wave area.
  6. The process will repeat until all waves have crossed the start line.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What if I arrive after my assigned starting wave has already left?
A: Take a deep breath, relax, and join a wave after your assigned starting wave.   Volunteers are charged with limiting the number of people in each wave, so please ask the wave volunteers if you may join that wave.   Your official time and all subsequent cutoff times are based on when you cross the starting line.   Whatever you do,do not try and cut through the starting area.

Q: What if I want to run with someone in a wave later than mine or just start a few waves later than assigned?
All runners have the option of starting in any wave after their assigned starting wave, up to the last wave.   After the last wave of the morning has departed, the start line will be closed.   Runners starting after the start line has closed will not be assigned a chip-based starting time and the timing system will assume that they started in the first row of their originally assigned wave.

Q: How will I know where my wave group is?
A: As your start time approaches, look for the volunteers holding signs with your wave number.   Also look for other runners with bib numbers in your bib number range.   When in doubt, ask one of the volunteers in the staging area.

Q: I am a really fast runner and believe that I should have been placed in the 1st wave.   How can I be moved to the 1st wave?
A: If you feel you have a shot at the top 20 overall, please email the registrar at [email protected].   Note that if you are looking for a 1st wave assignment in the PPM, you MUST also provide your ITRA performance index number and be ranked AAA or higher.

Q: I feel that I was placed into a much later wave than I should have been, can I start in an earlier one?
A: Absolutely not.   Runners caught starting in an earlier than assigned wave will be DQ'ed.   Waves are pre-assigned based on your qualification time submitted.