The organizers of the Hamptons Marathon said this week that they hope to move the annual race from East Hampton Town to Southampton Village, starting next fall, in time for the 10th running of the race.
The race organizers have proposed basing the race at Southampton High School and have presented Southampton Village officials with two potential routes, contained entirely within the village, including one that would take those running the full marathon down scenic Meadow Lane. Both routes would remain entirely within the village and south of Montauk Highway, so as not to cause traffic congestion issues on main thoroughfares.
The move would be the first in the race’s 10-year history, and it comes in the wake of complaints from the Springs Fire Department and Amagansett Fire Department about traffic congestion from roads closed for runners and blocked by hundreds of cars parked along roadsides of side streets near the Springs School, where the race was founded in 2007.
“We want to be somewhere that we’re wanted,” said Hamptons Marathon co-chair Amanda Moszkowski. “We think Southampton would be a great location for us. Southampton High School has the most incredible facility, and it would be such a pleasure to be able to host the race there.”
Ms. Moszkowski said that the organizers have already made a pitch to Southampton School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina, who was supportive of the proposal for the race to be held on Saturday, October 1, 2016.
The race organizers are scheduled to make a presentation on their race plans to the Southampton Village Board on Thursday night at 6 p.m.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said on Tuesday. “I think it’s going to be a significant economic driver for us on a weekend that would normally be a quiet weekend. I’m excited about that. It’ll support the restaurants and the delis and the local merchants. It’ll be a nice economic boost to the Village of Southampton.”
Since its inaugural race, which had 500 participants, the event has grown to average of more than 2,000 runners; about 1,700 run the half-marathon and 400 run the full 26 miles.
It has also turned into a major money-maker—and key source of funds for local charities.
Race organizers have produced a community impact study that estimates participants spend more than $75,000 with local merchants on race day, in addition to the $25,000 the organizers spend locally on supplies, staffing and preparations for the race. The race organizers also pay $24,000 for police coverage of the route and fees to the town and Springs School for the event.
The 2015 race also donated $85,000 to charities, including $33,000 to Project Most. The Springs race has donated more than $550,000 to charities over its nine years and the Bridgehampton Half Marathon, operated by the same group in the springtime, has donated $32,000 to Southampton Hospital, according to the study done by the race organizers.
East Hampton officials are scheduled to meet with marathon organizers on Friday but expect the donations to follow the race west.
“We’re sorry to lose them and the revenue for Project Most—they made nice contributions to some of our local charities,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said on Tuesday. “But there were some serious concerns raised by the Amagansett Fire Department and the Springs Fire Department and others about the manner in which the event was organized. It was an issue that had been growing for a number of years.”