The Boston Marathon is regarded as one of the most prestigious race in the world and for many runners qualifying for Boston represents the completion of a lifelong running goal. To qualify to run in the Boston Marathon runners have to run at a USATF Certified marathon and meet certain qualifying times based on their age group. FindMyMarathon.com provides information on USATF Certified courses in each state including the percentage of runners who qualified for the Boston Marathon. In 2023, 11.71% of runners at the Salina Crossroads Marathon achieved a Boston Marathon qualifying time, which was the highest of any marathon in Kansas. The Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene was second with 9.88% followed by the Garmin Olathe Marathon with 9.75%. Other marathons in Kansas include Gobbler Grind Marathon in Overland Park with 9.52%, Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita with 5.80% and Little Apple Marathon in Manhattan with 4.62%.
The third annual Salina Crossroads Marathon will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2024 in downtown Salina. There are currently over 2000 runners registered from 45 states, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. The Salina Crossroads Marathon saw an increase from 817 registered runners in 2022 to over 3400 in 2023 and has set a goal of 4000 registered runners for the 2024 race.
The 2024 Salina Crossroads Marathon weekend will feature seven family friendly events:
- Half Marathon
- 5K Run
- 5K Walk
- Half Marathon Relay
- Marathon Relay
- Half-Mile Kids Run
“One of our goals with the Salina Crossroads Marathon is to create a high quality event with fun race options for the entire family,” said Co-Race Director Daniel Craig. “In addition to having one of the premier marathons in Kansas we hope that the 5K run, 5K walk, team relays, half mile kids run, and opportunities to volunteer and cheer on the runners will enable the entire community to come out and be a part of an amazing marathon weekend. We appreciate the support from the City of Salina in helping us create a flat, fast, and scenic course and want to say a special thank you to Brent Buchwald and Sgt. Chad McCary for their support. We also appreciate the support of all of our amazing sponsors that allow us to be a Gold Standard race by providing 100% of the race entry fees to five local youth sports organizations.” In 2023, the Salina Crossroads Marathon had over 50 organizations sponsor/support the marathon including Vortex Companies who was the Title Sponsor and Schwan’s Company who provided Edwards Cream pie by the slice, which was a huge hit with runners.
The Salina Crossroads Marathon has developed the brand of The Most Runner Friendly Marathon in Kansas. “We strive to achieve to be the Most Runner Friendly Marathon in Kansas by allowing registered runners the option to change their race distance at any time, defer entries to the following year, and we offer race day packet pickup,” said Craig. “A race experience starts long before the race with having great pre-race communication, an easy and convenient packet pickup, plenty of close parking, and a well-marked course with lots of amazing volunteers.”
One change that runners will notice this year is that the Salina Crossroads Marathon is separating out the cost of the race entry from the race shirt. “Over 1/3 of our race budget last year was for race shirts, so by separating out the cost of the race entry from the cost of the race shirt we hope to be able to continue being the most affordable marathon in Kansas and allow runners the flexibility to choose whether or not to pay for a race shirt,” said Craig. “It will help to lower our overall costs and allow us to maintain our Gold Level status by providing 100% of race entry fees to local youth sports organizations while continuing to grow the race. We have received an extremely positive response from runners who appreciate having the option of whether or not to pay for a race shirt.”
With many races increasing entry fees, it can make it difficult for runners to participate in running events. The Salina Crossroads Marathon has some of the lowest registration fees of any race in Kansas and offers discounted entries for those that register early. Runners who register by March 31 will benefit by receiving significantly reduced entries. Runners can register at https://register.chronotrack.com/r/77705. “When runners register early it helps us out in several ways. We are better able to predict how many medals and race shirts to order which helps to keep our expenses low. It also prevents the potential of running out of medals, which has happened at several races this year, and it allows us to know how many runners to prepare for when we are planning for our aid stations along the course as well as the post-race celebration,” said Craig. Having affordable entries was one the most listed reasons for why runners selected Salina Crossroads. One participant said “The deals they ran to be able to register. I am a single mom of four and I do not get the opportunity to sign up for many races, because I don’t have the extra money. So this was very much appreciated.”