The race is officially on in Hayden Lake.
The special event application for the first-ever Hayden Lake Marathon, set to take place Oct. 19, was unanimously approved Monday by Lakes Highway District commissioners.
It took some time for the commissioners to warm up to the idea. The application went before them five times since June, before they gave it their blessing.
"The first time the board heard the topic, they weren't comfortable with approving the special event application," said the district's director of highways, Eric Shanley.
Shanley said the commissioners' initial concerns were similar to those of some residents who opposed the 26.2-mile race that will go completely around Hayden Lake.
Opponents cited safety issues due to the narrowness and winding nature of the roads the course will follow. An opposition petition with 42 signatures was submitted from residents whose homes are accessed by the roads that circle the lake.
Supporters submitted a petition as well, bearing 62 signatures.
By Monday's meeting, Shanley said, race organizers had provided a safety plan that the commissioners felt was reasonable.
There will be 37 volunteers stationed around the lake, frequent signage cautioning drivers about the race, and lots of cones, he said.
"The highway district didn't do this without consulting with law enforcement and emergency services," Shanley said.
The sheriff's office and fire departments advised that they did not think their response times would be negatively affected by the marathon.
Shanley said the highway district will evaluate the size and the impact on the community of this year's marathon, if organizers bring it back again next year.
For additional information, visit www.haydenlakemarathon.org.