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To Donna and everyone: We can certainly take the issue of pace leaders under consideration. It depends, of course, on finding enough quality runners willing to run the distance at a pace for the numerous groups and, therefore, sacrifice the marathon effort. We will work on it and see if we can get it done in time to alert all entrants.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Sunday, June 29, 2003 at 17:23:09 (ET)

I have run a number of marathons, but have most enjoyed Hartford and Chicago, because both of them set up pace groups. At each of these marathons, a group leader was pre-designated for each of the paces from 7:30 min/mile to 10 min/mile. Runners could sign up at the expo to join a pace group. The morning of the marathon, we simply had to find the pace leader holding the sign with the right pace.
It was a great idea for 2 reasons: 1)it helped people to finish within their goal times (which for me was important as I had to finish within 3 1/2 hours to qualify for Boston), and 2)it created a lot of comaraderie for those of us who like to socialize while we run. PLEASE TELL ME THAT OSM DOES PACE GROUPS!! If you have not in that past, please consider it.
Either way, I am really looking forward to OSM! - Donna
Amherst, MA USA - Saturday, June 28, 2003 at 14:18:12 (ET)

I'm preparing for the 2003 OSM. If anyone is interested in an occasional training partner, I'd love the company, especially for some long (15-22 miles) runs. My pace for long runs is between 7:30 and 8:30.

South County, RI USA - Monday, June 23, 2003 at 21:15:55 (ET)

Family and friends are welocme at both the start and the finish areas, however, the best place to meet following the race would be inside the Convention Center at or near exhibit hall D where post race refreshments are served. The area immediately behind the finish line will be closed off to the public and runners will leave the finish area and go immediately into the convention center and up escalators to the third floor. There are several other entrances for spectators, family and friends to enter the convention center and access the third floor. In all cases it is wise to select a meeting place before the race.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at 17:16:54 (ET)

Are family members allowed to be at the starting line and finish line or is there a separate waiting area for them?

NY USA - Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at 16:46:12 (ET)


Check out

I used the First-Time and casual marathoner schedule last
year for my first marathon. I had just started running in March and started this training program right about this time last year for the 2002 OSM. I didn't complete many of my long runs, and that was a big mistake. I was able, however, to run the entire way without walking.
Narragansett, RI USA - Tuesday, June 10, 2003 at 08:41:30 (ET)

Any websites that will help with a training schedule for a first timer?
Narragansett, RI USA - Monday, June 09, 2003 at 14:39:00 (ET)

To Joseph and all, yes, the marathoners will have yellow numbers and the half marathoners will have blue numbers.
Gerry Beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at 17:45:35 (ET)

Will the race numbers for the half and full marathon be different colors so we can tell who we're racing against?
Kingston, RI USA - Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at 11:17:55 (ET)

I'm in favor of anything that will prevent me from hitting the wall this year! I don't care about taste, I want carbs, and lots of them. I've heard good things about Ultima. You can get it at Camires in Wakefield.
Kingston USA - Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at 11:15:41 (ET)

I work for Ultima Replenisher and would like to add some information about why Ultima is an ideal hydrator for the course of marathons, including the Ocean State Marathon. First, we are unique in that we are a true hydrator. We provide all 5 essential electrolytes: calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium and sodium. We supply ratios of these electrolytes/salts in ratios similar to those in our bodies, so that they are easily absorbed and utilized. Typical "sports drinks" use 2 or 3 of the electrolytes, with higher than beneficial amounts of sodium. Ultima also is very easy on the stomach as it has zero sugar and only the complex carb, maltodextrin, which makes it compatible to the gels, which many marathoners, including myself, use. Further, Ultima is unique in that we use no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. In the past, flavor has been a downside ("vitaminy"), but the new orange and lemon/lime flavors (water soluble vitamins are better masked) are very well received. Ultima is easy to find in running specialty stores nationwide, such as Rhode Runner in Providence. We hope that runners try Ultima, as we know it works and have much confidence that it will be liked. Please email me directly with any further comments or questions. We know we cannot please all, but aim to please as many as we can. Thank you, Seth Bovio, Chief Operation Officer, UHP - Inc. 888.663.8584
Seth Bovio
New York, NY USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:47:01 (ET)

Lisa and everyone, Yes Ultima is the fluid replenishment drink to be used on course this year. We have been assured by Ultima that the new product line has been greatly improved and our research into Ultima's reception at recent races bears that out. We are confident the product will be well received at OSM as well.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 17:15:40 (ET)

Please tell me that Ultima is NOT the drink being offered at OSM '03!
RI USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 12:17:59 (ET)

As of today, the OSM does not have a title sponsor - which puts it in the same spot as 70% of US Marathons...

I've read with interest the questions below of how this will affect the race: the answer is that the Ocean State Marathon will be a fantastic event as always, but might not be able to hand out $50K of prize money as in past years. So, unless you're a Kenyan planning to run sub-2:20, this probably won't affect you and shouldn't affect your choice to run the 2003 OSM or Half-Marathon.

What should you do? Well, if you're reading this page, then you're probably interested in this race - and you should sign up today!!! The fact is that the more registrants who sign up early, the better the chance that the OSM will be able to secure a title sponsor (if the race received 1,000 registrants by June 1, I'd bet Gerry would have companies begging to be title sponsor)... Without a title sponsor the race will be fine. With a title sponsor, the race will have more money for prizes and advertising. Without you as a runner, the race will be in trouble. With you as a runner - the race will be great. So, really, if you're thinking about the OSM - commit to it early and help keep this great race great.
John Elliott
New York, NY USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 07:30:16 (ET)

Have run two Ocean States now - had a blast both times - even in the rain last October which was significant other's 1st Marathon. Will both be back this year with Boston being our only other Marathon.

Question will OSM have a booth at the Boston Expo next weekend so we can look out for you and say hi?
Paul Howard
Manchester United Kingdom - Thursday, April 10, 2003 at 12:27:35 (ET)

Jayne and everyone,
The half marathon course will follow the first 11.1 miles of the marathon course. At that point the half marathoners will turn left on Broad Street and return downcity for the final 2 miles to the RI Convention Center, where both races will finish. The exact route for the final 2 miles is being worked on and will be certfied. Once certified the additional section will be added to the existing course map on the course info page. Both races will start together at 7:55 am from the state capitol.
gerry beagan
East Greenwich, RI USA - Sunday, March 09, 2003 at 17:59:06 (ET)

Can you please post what the 1/2 marathon course will be?
north kingstown, RI USA - Sunday, March 09, 2003 at 17:01:39 (ET)

Lisa and everyone, We have every intention of running OSM and the OSM Half Marathon as scheduled. In the unlikely event that we are unable to secure sufficient sponsorship to present the events in a first class manner we will immediately make the news known. Please check back with these pages for updates.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 21:19:42 (ET)

When will know for SURE if there is going to be an OSM on 10/12/03?
USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 11:39:41 (ET)

To Bob and everyone: Yes, the half marathon finishers will also receive medallions.The half marathoners can expect the same high quality treatment and consideration as the marathoners from start to finish.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Tuesday, February 04, 2003 at 18:29:28 (ET)

Gerry,thanks for the candid responce. As a small token of my faith in you I am going to sign up for the half-marathon. I believe that you will accomplish most of what you desire and that will be enough,I'm sure.I'm going to spread the word. By the by,would you think that half-marathon finishers would receive medals?
Bobby Bou
Canton, Ma USA - Monday, February 03, 2003 at 20:36:10 (ET)

To Bob and all others: We are in the midst of trying to secure an overall title sponsor to replace Brooks Pharmacy but we are also seeking sufficient, cooperative sponsorship to stage the events, both the marathon and a half marathon. To that end we are developing a new web site and will provide all pertinent information to those considering running here. We are confident that the races will be run as scheduled with all of the aspects that have made OSM one of the nation's best marathons. While we might have to consider a drastic change in, or elimination of, prize money there will be no alteration in the services and value provided every entrant of both races. We urge your patience and understanding while we work through what is a difficult period of transition. Similarly, we would encourage those who are considering running OSM to continue pointing toward an event that is certain to be as successful as the previous ten editions.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 16:06:07 (ET)

I was suprised to find out about your half-marathon.The word is NOT out on the street about it ( I'll help out with that!)What's the dealy-o with the new sponser?.Folks are afraid to sign up, figuring that it will get cancelled at that last minute.Then what?End up at the Mount Desert Island Marathon?Good God man,no way.Will Ocean State be run this year?The truth please.
Bobby Bou
USA - Friday, January 31, 2003 at 22:39:23 (ET)

A very interesting and professional website. Cool design yet useful information. Congratulations, John
Bordeaux France - Monday, January 27, 2003 at 10:43:53 (ET)

Do you have a list of the vendors that were at the convention centeer the day before the race? My husband bought a fleece hat that he really likes and would like to get more. He bought it from a woman who made them and was selling them for $5.00 each. Thanks
Carol Martin
Riverside, RI USA - Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 14:38:41 (ET)

First and foremost, a great event. I ran 6 marathons over the last year, after slacking off from serious running for 25 years, so I have a basis to compare. OSM26 was one of the best marathons, for the following reasons: 1. Convention Center is an excellent facility for such an event, especially in comparison to other marathons. 2. Massage (essential, essential, essential, and not offered everywhere) was great! Suggested improvements are good, but pale next to the overall experience, and I hope to run next year.
Neil - North Shore Striders
Swampscott, MA USA - Friday, November 15, 2002 at 01:07:59 (ET)

CHICOPEE, MA USA - Friday, November 08, 2002 at 07:49:46 (ET)

I really enjoyed the new course, as did our out of state running friends. Volunteers and services were great. Soup is awesome at the end! Only concern, as noted by another, was lack of portapotties in the first half of the race...there were no wooded areas as alternatives! Keep up the great work!
RI USA - Monday, October 28, 2002 at 10:32:22 (ET)

Photos are now available at
USA - Wednesday, October 23, 2002 at 10:58:13 (ET)

There will limited photos put up on the web site as last year. The official race photographers, Marathon Foto, will send proofs to all entrants for possible purchase. They will also have photos available at their web site which can be accessed from the race services page of this site.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Friday, October 18, 2002 at 18:18:17 (ET)

i saw a lot of picture being taken out on the course...will any these be posted on the website(like those from 9th OSM)? If so when?
USA - Friday, October 18, 2002 at 08:31:14 (ET)

First of all, I have to say that I LOVE Providence. I have done this race now three times. My husband and I look forward to our "annual" visit each year - the shopping is great, the restaurants are great, the city walk is beautiful - it's all good! Having said this, we spend A LOT of money each time we come to town for this race. This should be reason enough for the city to support this event -this event with the right support from the city and good promotion, could be a real money maker for Providence. We alone spent well over $2,000 on our room, shopping, and eating out. I will continue to do this race because we love the city. My one and only comment for this year was the baggage check system. It would be more convenient to have the baggage check at the start rather than a 1/4 mile away at the convention center. Other than that - great work and I'll be back! Thanks to you and all the volunteers who stuck it out through the rain to support us! Kathy
Burlington, VT USA - Friday, October 18, 2002 at 08:12:32 (ET)

Gerry, I had a great time at the race again this year. I think once the race settles into its new configuration it will again see a rise in runners. Remember when people comment on the negative aspects of the race they are merely bringing them to your attention so they may be addressed. I think this inaugural chapter (Providence) of the OSM is the beginning of a great tradition in RI. Keep up the good work. P.S. I thought all marathoners wore watches. At rest, training, working, sleeping and especially "during a marathon". They don't weigh all that much and they're aerodynamic enough so they shouldn't slow you down. ;) See you guys next year. Marc
- Thursday, October 17, 2002 at 13:38:53 (ET)

To everyone: Perhaps I went off a bit in my response to earlier criticisms and comments. After all, we encourage feedback both on these pages and on the questionaire that is in every runner's bag.We accept and welcome constructive input that will make us a better more competitive, more enjoyable marathon. We have always tried to achieve the ultimate of being a true runner's marathon but we have had to expend a great deal of energy, effort and finances on course changes that were beyond our control. We have a course in Providence that should be golden for many years to come. We have facilities for the start and for the finish that are as good as any marathon anywhere and we have volunteers who are knowledgeable and steadfast in their support of the event. With Brooks Pharmacy as our prime sponsor we are not in any danger of losing sponsorship any time soon. They are a working partner in the event and all of the orange jacketed volunteers in the finish area were Brooks employees, many of whom were on station from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Surely, we can put more clocks on the course, by the way the clocks that failed were bothered by the weather not incompetency, and certainly we can tighten course concerns with a predictable course from year to year. What we will not change is the name of the event. The race will be the Ocean State Marathon because that was how it began ten years ago and that is how it is known nationwide. I don't believe the success or failure of a marathon is based on a choice of name for the event but on the overall product, the nuts and bolts of putting on a good event. We adapt to the wants and needs of all of our entrants and we always will. We take the comments we receive seriously and we consider them thoughtfully. The changes this event has gone through were the inevitable consequence of trying to put on a 26.2 mile race in a state that is 56 mile long and about half as wide. We are limited in how we can stage a race and when a mojor municipality, in the center of the state, denies us permission to run in their city we are pushed to the limits. We were fortunate to get the cooperation of the City of Providence so we could stage the race this year and we are hopeful that they will indulge us next year. In conclusion, we want runners to understand that the Ocean State Marathon will endure and it will be an event that will continue to accept and implement any and all improvements needed to make it, what it has always been, a runners' race. As race director, I truly enjoy your comments, criticism and discussion points. All of it makes us better at what we do and contrary to opinion we are on the improve not on the decline. Just you wait and see!
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 22:46:28 (ET)

Oh, ok, responding to your comments that the only reason to call it the Providence Marathon are for those who don't know where Providence is. I guess the Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Los Angeles Marathon, etc. are named after the city so that people will know where they are. C'mon!! Also, I see you stated we'll see you next 0ct. 12. Yes, you will see another 700 or so runners next October, while Harford Marathon gets over 2,000. Providence has much more to offer than Hartford and should consistently see marathon #'s of 2,000 to 3'000. Hartford is established as a mid-October marathon. Ocean State was known as an early Nov. Marathon & was the only thing happening in NE for us long distance runners that time of year. Personally,I miss having it that time of year. Getting back to the name, "PROVIDENCE MARATHON" sounds much more big time & exciting than "Ocean State Marathon". You hardly even see the Ocean during the run and yes I know R.I. is called the Ocean State. Personally Mr. race director I think that the OSM is heading in the wrong direction W/ all of the course changes, date changes over the years it has confused people & the number of entrants reflects that. I would assume that it is only a matter of time before you lose your sponsorship. So go ahead, stick your head in the sand & make believe everything is OK. It isn't!!
Peter McDonald
Scarborough, ME USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 19:42:08 (ET)

I liked the course changes a lot; keep it in the city. The Convention Center is the ideal post race spot, and the bananas, soup, massage, bag pick-up, and music are very welcoming after a hard day at the office. October is a great race month; you train in nice weather and don't run the race when it's too cold, or too hot. Is there any way you can shorten mile 24? I thought I would never get to mile 25. P.S. I had a little trouble spotting the mile markers, especially early on in the race. I heard someone else comment about this as well. Some more music on the course would be inspiring. I did like the Brooks Pharmacy Band on Putnam. Bill
Bill Cleveland
Boston, MA USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 16:20:08 (ET)

Volunteers were incredibly nice, encouraging and helpful. Biggest problem was lack of clocks on the course - and the fact that those that were on the course were not working!!! That is VERY frustrating, as I have never run a distance race (half marathon to marathon) that doesn't have timing on the course. Take it as a constructive comment, not a slam on the event.
USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 16:08:20 (ET)

bananas bananas banana Is it like illegal to serve bananas during race? - that's what I craved. (And my friend, Jerry wants fried chicken during race, please. ) I had a fabulous time, humor got me through and a man name Jerry, #384. I wanted to tell him that Jerry is a good name only for a mouse, that's right.
Seung Kim
boston, MA USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 14:18:49 (ET)

Also totally agree it should be called the Providence Marathon. No one I told knew what the Ocean State is so I just called it the Providence Marathon anyway. (I know I sound picky but it is only because I want the race to be better in the future. The crappy weather and course change had the odds stacked against it this year)
Eric Charlesworth
New York, NY USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 14:04:06 (ET)

Hey Gerry-- First of all my advice is to not take the complaints personally but as a chance to make the marathon even better. Almost everyone said the marathon was a good event (and it was, especially considering you guys had to scramble to change the course). But there is little doubt it can be improved and considering Providence is a city on the rise, the marathon should be more indicative of that. First off, the fair was pretty lame. Not exactly sure what you can do about that but it sort of gave off an uninspired vibe. The shirt design was bad in my opinion. (They usually are). People would be wise to keep these designs a little simpler. Not having many clocks along the course is not great (though I wear a watch). As for the goody bag, I think I speak for many when I say that what is included in that bag isn't really ever that interesting. So in other words, don't worry so much about what is in the bag as much as what is offered on the course. Again, these are all fairly minor quibbles because I know it is a small marathon and there is only so much you can do. It's just that I am considering moving to Providence next year because I love the city and I'd really like to see the event grow into something really special. Thanks for putting it together and even if improvements can't be made it is still a good time. --Eric
New York, NY USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 13:55:56 (ET)

I just ran my first Ocean State Marathon and was quite impressed with the course and the volunteers. Thanks for all your effort. See you next year...maybe!!!
Springfield, MA USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 12:08:36 (ET)

Great Race! The course was excellent and the volunteers and organization were both top notch. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to next year.
Warwick, RI USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 10:02:52 (ET)

Great marathon. I really enjoyed the course and hope that you plan on keeping the course within the city limits of providence for next year as well. cheers!
USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 08:58:34 (ET)

To all concerned, especially the last few entries.The marathon is run when it is because of logistical and facility concerns. If we do not have use of the facilities at the RI Convention Center, if other events take up the space, we are left with no place to stage the pre-race and post race events. Teh race is the Ocean State Marathon and there is no reason to change the name other than to let those who don't know where Providence is. We were under severe time constraints when the city of Warwick denied us a permit to run in their city. We had to develop a course quickly, get it certified and get the city to accept a race that would inconvenience many residents and visitors. Likewise, our need to get the race in shape resulted in a less than aggressive approach to the health and fitness fair. The prime focus of the race organixation is to give runners the best possible experience from start to finish and we do that.The incident with the lead woman had nothing to do with a lack of schooling on the part of volunteers but on a misunderstanding of the flagger's directions and we made good on that by giving the woman her due in recognizing our error.There are many aspects of any race that could use improvement but we take great pride in our reputation on being one of the best marathons in the nation. We give runners an indoor facility for use before the start and an indoor facilty at the finish. We had 14 porta-lets at the start, one at every other water start and one at every medical aid station. We had ChampionChip timing, finishers medals, program books, a chock-filled goody bag of useable items, t-shirts, medallions, fruit, Gatorade and yogurt at the finish line, post race massage and soup, pasta, cookies, drinks and music for all finishers in the convention center. I suppose we didn't do enough. We will go back to the drawing board and consider how we went wrong. We certainly appreciate your comments and criticism and hope you will keep them coming. See you nest year on October 12 when we wil try to get it right.
gerry beagan
east greenwich, RI USA - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 21:59:04 (ET)

Folks. I had a good time at the marathon! Enjoyed the course and posted a personal best time. Will most likely run again next year. Thanks! However, some general perception comments: 1) Only 700 entries. Almost a 50% decrease from peak entries in the 90's
Marathon Paticipant
USA - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 19:55:15 (ET)

After the second year in a row w/ under 1,000 finishers in the Marathon, have you given any thought to moving the race back to November? I think New England needs an early November Marathon, there are just so many in October in NE. I would think that having the Hartford Marathon & the BAA Half Marathon on the same weekend as the OSM would take away a significant number of possible entrants. I know quite a few people in past years who would run an early October marathon & then run Rhode Island/Ocean State in early November. There used to be quite a number of folks in Maine that would go down for the early Nov. run, whereis now there appears to be significantly less from our state. I have run 2 Rhode Island Marathons & 1 Ocean State Marathon, signed up for another & got injured before the race. I always found these events to be extremely well organized & I really enjoyed myself. I think if you went back to early November that you would see a significant increase in the numbers of runners. Another thought, change the name to "THE PROVIDENCE CITY MARATHON". Thanks for listening, Peter R. McDonald
Peter McDonald
Scarborough, ME USA - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 19:46:40 (ET)

Overall a great marathon. It was my first and I very much enjoyed the experience. Volunteers were great and from my viewpoint it was very well run. Two minor comments, T-shirt design not very attractive and you need more port-a-pots, especially near the start. I had to wait about 5 minutes at mile 4 to use the bathroom. Thanks again!
USA - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 18:50:28 (ET)

Really enjoyed the run. The weather turned out to be great for the runners, even though not perfect for the spectators. Thanks for the downhill stretch leading to the finish! I found the course to be interesting,especially in the Roger Williams area. No killer hills at any point. Everything was well organized....all-in-all a great weekend. Staying at the Westin was very convenient to the expo, pasta party, and finish line.
USA - Monday, October 14, 2002 at 17:27:12 (ET)

BRAVO for an outstanding event on10/13/02! I found plenty of cheerful volunteers at aid stations, friendly police—and even the backed-up traffic on North Main in the final miles at least didn't seem surly at the inconvenience of having to wait for us to pass. And the post-race feed—that pasta—and the soup deserved a second serving. Even for my late fee of $60, I don't see many events that offer as good a post-race spread. If I hadn't had to rush to the airport for my return flight, I'd also have stuck around for a massage. One request to consider: work around some of the poor-condition road surfaces in mile 10 or thereabouts. (I know how complicated things get with course design.) On the positive side of course design, downtown old Providence and the Roger Williams Park provide beautiful miles. I applaud especially the original designer of the final miles. Though I silently muttered a few impolite things about the seemingly interminable ascents from River Drive along Blackstone and Williams, you more than made up for it with style and generosity: The equally steady downhills on North Main, including what felt like almost a cliff on Constitution Hill, and that final wonderful downhill just before the left onto Sabin must make the most *blissful* final 2.5 miles I've ever done (in 39 marathons). EXCELLENT final miles! I will definitely recommend the event to others. You guys did the race proud. Kudos to all!
Chuck Bryant
Miami, FL USA - Monday, October 14, 2002 at 10:17:51 (ET)

I am very disappointed with the people who run this marathon. I offered to volunteered my services, but I never heard from them. I faxed in the sheets as instructed to do so, but no response. As a person who volunteers for many events in Rhode Island, I was extremely disappointed by not even receiving an acknowledgement to my offer. Even if they didn't need my help, I wished they would have contacted me and let me know. Hope all runners had a nice run, sorry for the rain they had to run in.
Rich M
USA - Sunday, October 13, 2002 at 17:06:31 (ET)

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