Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Talking points: Is a marathon a menace to north Fresno?

Two Cities 2011.jpg

This weekend is the annual Two Cities marathon, which has gone from a start-up event to a big deal in a short time.

It’s also a nuisance to the people of north Fresno, if you believe this recent Letter to the Editor, which echoes similar sentiments from marathons past:

It is time for all of Fresno’s residents to share the marathon. Each year, residents of Fresno living near Woodward Park are severely inconvenienced with road closures.

Many residents affected by this would like the rest of Fresno to support the marathon, by hosting the marathon in their neighborhoods. It’s their turn to be locked up for a day with road closures.

For the first time I can remember, I actually agree with (almost) all the commenters on this one. They gave the letter a hefty mocking.

Somebody call a waaaahhhhbulance!

“Severely inconvenienced”? Really? What constitutes a minor inconvenience then?

Granted, I don’t live in north Fresno anymore, so I don’t know how menacing it is to the way of life up there. But I can’t imagine it’s anymore severely inconvenient than living near Christmas Tree Lane or living close to Olive Avenue on big party nights in the Tower District.

Maybe I’m completely wrong here — and feel free to tell me that I am — but I feel like this letter writer exemplifies what I’ve long believed: Fresnans are always looking for something to complain about.

Responses to "Talking points: Is a marathon a menace to north Fresno?"

wienzer says:

I moved to the tower just to get away from that marathon! I couldn’t face the prospect of being confined to my house for a whole morning! I mean, what if I wanted to go shopping, or get something to eat, or buy groceries! Walk or ride my bike you say? What am I some kind of peasant? How dare you Mike OZ!

Alex says:

I’m with Bee commenters, I think we need to start embracing this kind of an event. Since we aren’t graced with the “inconvenience” of the Amgen Tour, may be it’s time that North Fresnans, myself included, actually support this kind of world class event (Hey, isn’t that our city’s new PR motto?).

Since top-notch runners are willing to run around Fresno, we might as well enjoy what they’re bringing here.

Beth Bridges says:

Yeah, the street in front of this guys house must be a complete shambles, right? Because he would NEVER want to have severely inconvenient road repairs.

The people who complain about this have completely LOST the right to ever say:

“we don’t have anything good in Fresno”
“Fresno can’t get on the map”
“people in this town should get some exercise”

I feel like the complainers are suggesting that people who aren’t in North Fresno have less of an important schedule to be inconvenienced, so don’t cancel it but by all means put it somewhere else.

ed says:

so, i don’t think it would be a bad idea to use different neighborhoods as a way to incorporate more of fresno, but i wouldn’t want to do it solely for the idea of inconveniencing other fresnans.

also, i appreciate the ignorance of the letter writer for failing to realize that other neighborhoods routinely have events that inconvenience their driving about. my neighborhood, the tower district, routinely is “inconvenienced” with parades, bike races, street fairs and such. and, the annual father’s day run has only gone on for like, 45 years. so yes, it’s really time to share road closures for running.

Marisa says:

For 3 years I lived at Woodward lakes and for the 1st 2 years I didn’t even know there was a marathon! That’s how inconvenient it is!

The 3rd year I walked out my front door, watched them run by, and was inspired enough to change my life and become a runner myself!

After moving to North Clovis (STILL in the heart of the road closures) last year I ran the full marathon and this year will be running the half marathon!

People should know the city leaves Nees Ave and Willow Ave open! Fresno is pretty square – you go this way a few blocks and that way a few blocks and you’re out of it! How else would I be able to drive to the start line??

And if you’re still totally baffled by how to navigate away, try walking outside and cheering on us runners!! After 10 – 20 miles we could use all the support and energy you have!

Stephen says:

What about us poor Tower denizens?!? The car show! Parades all the time! The bike race!!!!

Oh the northsiders…they have it soooo easy. :::sigh:::

Lou S. says:

As a Clovis “Northie”, all I can say is…take a couple lefts and a right and you’ve gone around it. Get over it! Whenever there’s an event anywhere (except The Tower) people complain. I was in a group during the metric century portion of The Climb To Kaiser a few years back and had a few locals shout obscenities and honk. It’s one day! We need big events and community support more often.

Bodecker says:

“Severely inconvenienced?” For part of a morning? What a wienie. He can’t go to Starbucks that morning. Complaints like his led to re-routing of the San Francisco Marathon some years back.

Radical says:


Traci says:

I ran the half-marathon portion a few years back and other than bragging about how completely awesome I am for doing it, I would like to point out (for the detractors) that all the port-o-potties were lined up in front of one dude’s house, and he literally had 75 to 100 people walking all over his lawn, because the potties faced the front of his house. He had a pretty nice, well landscaped yard. It was a cold, dewy morning, so what with all these strangers trampling around his grass was getting messed up. And being I had to use the port-o-potty, I felt really awkward because I didn’t have a choice except to walk in his yard.

I think this was a case of poor planning on the part of the race organizers.

And this guy totally had the right to be angry (even though I never saw him come out or say anything to anyone about it), because his personal property was clearly being harmed.

OTHER THAN the poor potty planning, I can’t find a negative for this race.

Doug C says:

As a runner and workout enthusiast this is great for our community because Woodward park is in our own back yard and known as one of the toughest cross country courses in the region. Hints one reason why they host state meet here in Fresno. So naturally you would have part of the marathon course at Woodward park. We also have a great running trail that has been built in the same neighborhood as Woodward park and goes out into Clovis. So naturally everything for the event is already set up to have it there. With the race here in the north end of town and instead of out at Belmont it draws more attention and fans which intern brings more publicity and notoriety to our wonderful city. These events are here to make money for our city with participants who need amenities such as hotels and restaurants.In addition to bringing recognition and revenue to our wonderful city it also is fantastic to start seeing more people running in Fresno around August as they begin training with last years hats, shirt, ect from the marathons past as they are excited to be part of something. Any privately funded and held event that helps reduce my medical insurance bills by getting people in shape and doesn’t increase my taxes has 200% of my support! FYI I will be biking to work that morning due to the road closers, so keep complaining people.

Traci says:

HOW DARE YOU. Mike Oz has a perfectly nice ass, thankyouverymuch.

Beth Bridges says:


Did you hear the sound of more heads popping this morning?

YES, MORE “inconvenience”! The Amgen Tour, which brought $830,000 into Clovis/Fresno when it was here in 2009, will be returning in 2012! Stage 4 finish, May 16, 2012.

Pop… pop … pop ….


Jacqui says:

For people who don’t live on the north end of fresno or clovis your comments shouldn’t count because it doesn’t inconvenience you (unless you need to get over here for some reason). However, if you have ever tried to get around the marathon it’s not easy or as easy as they make it sound. Cops are everywhere and they are not all helpful about which roads are open to assist those that are “stuck”. Happened to me two years ago and what a mess. But…now that I know, I will stay away.You will have to use Herndon for East and West and Willow for North and South. God forbid you need to get to Champlain and Perrin! Good luck.

Mishy says:

Personally LOVE the Marathon..for one very short morning out of the year all I hear in my backyard..which backs up to Shepard…is the wonderful sounds of HAPPY people running and enjoying the great outdoors!! I say stop complaining and get your butt outside, enjoy the fresh air and run too!!

Chase Sanborn says:

Generally speaking, and painting with a wide-ass brush, Nerndies (north of Herndon) are a different breed.

Precious says:

@weinzer Are you for real?
@Alex Your right! :)
@Ed They should look into that. But sometimes the location determines if people will attend.
@Maris Good for you! Keep it up! :)
@Stephen Really? I always wish I lived closer to Tower to enjoy all it has to offer & the festivities. :)
@Lou Your absolutely right! :)

*Jus sayin*

Linda K says:

My biggest concern this year? If it is nice out, what’s the best route up to the hills as the usual early part of my ride will be blocked. I certainly can deal with that. Usually I’m out on a corner yelling myself hoarse as I cheer folks on. Maybe if the complainers tried that they’d get an attitude adjustment. Its a fun way to spend some time and the runners really seem to appreciate the support.