Get ready to share island roads Saturday

If you have any appointments this Saturday morning you may want to allot yourself a little extra time on the road.

Whidbey Island Wings of Gold Marathon, Half Marathon and 10-Mile Walk participants -- over 1,000 strong -- will share the roadways of North Whidbey and Central Whidbey from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 12.

“In an event like this, all traffic is impacted in one fashion or another,” said Jim Toole, event coordinator.

Citizens won’t have to worry about closure of the Deception Pass Bridge as they did with the inaugural running of the marathon last year. Originally scheduled to again begin at Rosario Road and Highway 20, the full marathon was recently rescheduled to start at the marina on New Cornet Bay Road, continue to Old Cornet Bay Road, to Highway 20 where runners will move on the northbound shoulder until they turn left on Ducken Road. The race will continue on the outlying roads of Oak Harbor until the participants move up Crescent Harbor Road and enter the city limits at NE Regatta Road.

Unlike last year the race will not go straight through the heart of Oak Harbor, hopefully causing less traffic congestion, according to Toole.

“I feel this should work out pretty well,” he said. “All we ask is that everybody has a little patience for a little bit of inconvenience.”

Regatta Road is not only significant to the full 26 mile marathon but the half marathon as well. The 13.1 mile event begins at Olympic View Elementary School at approximately 8:30 a.m. and is expected to cause a brief road closure of some sort along Regatta to SE Pioneer Way.

“Be aware there is going to be some closure impact,” Toole said.

Both the full and half marathon runs continue along Bayshore Drive through City Beach and turn left onto Scenic Heights Road toward Coupeville. Once runners exit Holbrook Road they will run for their second and last brief stint on Highway 20 along the shoulder, until they reach Madrona Way and head toward their final destination at Town Park in Coupeville.

Madrona Way and Sherman Road to Madrona Way and Broadway will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while Broadway and Madrona Way to Broadway and Coveland will be closed from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In an effort to protect the runners certified flaggers will be placed throughout the route in areas where there are no stop signs.

“Certified flaggers are out there no only to protect the race participants but also the public,” Toole said.

Also designed to create safety will be more than 40 amateur radio operators spread throughout the course. In the event of an emergency they will be able to reach operators as quickly as possible.

“The entire course is covered,” Toole said.

The Honda Goldwing Island Chapter will also be helping with the race as they usher the runners through the course.

Those who have questions on road closures or other race related material can call (206) 729-9972 or send e-mail to for more information.

Race closes Maui Gate

Anyone wanting to visit the Seaplane Base this weekend should take note. The Maui Gate to the Seaplane Base will be closed this Saturday, April 12 from 8 - 10 a.m. to accomodate runners. Torpedo Gate will remain open for two-way traffic as usual.

Roads affected

Roads closed

Full Marathon Start, 8 a.m., marina on New Cornet Bay Road.

Half Marathon Start, 8:30 a.m., Olympic View Elementary School, NE Regatta Drive.

10-Mile Walk Start, 8 a.m., City Beach Park, Oak Harbor, Beeksma Drive entrance.

Route description

The following roads will not be closed but motorists should beware of runners sharing the road.

Start at the Marina on New Cornet Bay Road to Old Cornet Bay Road

SW on Old Cornet Bay Road to Highway 20

South on Highway 20 to Ducken Road

East on Ducken Road to Monkey Hill Road

South on Monkey Hill Road to West Henni Road

East on Henni Road to Imperial Lane

South on Imperial Lane to Jones Road

East on Jones Road to Dike Road

South on Dike Road to Frostad Road

East on Frostad Road to Taylor Road

South on Taylor Road to W. Crescent Harbor Road

West on W. Crescent Harbor Road to NE Regatta Drive

South on NE Regatta Road to SE Pioneer Way

West on SE Pioneer Way to Bayshore Drive

West on Bayshore Drive to the east trail access to City Beach Park

West through the park to SW Beeksma Drive

North on SW Beeksma Drive to Hwy 20

West on the south sidewalk of Hwy 20 to Scenic Heights Street

South on Scenic Heights Street to Monroe Landing Road

South on Penn Cove Road to Holbrook Road

North on Holbrook Road to Highway 20

South on the east (water side) shoulder of Highway 20

East on Madrona Way to NW Broadway

North on NW Broadway to NW Coveland Street

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