"We've got four days left of pre-registration and then we got day of [the race] registration too so we're going to come real close to our 1,000 goal," said Pardo in an interview last Friday.
In addition to the number of runners, Pardo said this year has also been the most successful in terms of the number of participants as well as the support they have received from the business community.
"I think they all realize now that this has a defined economic impact in a time that is typically dead,"
Public Information Officer for the Roundabout Project, Tricia Hayes, also commended local officials for helping the event be successful.
"It's a real hats off to the Lions Club and the Chamber to grow this event over the past couple years allowing the lodging properties to have heads in beds and seats filled in restaurants and shoppers in our stores," Hayes said.
Pardo said that they have been able to grow the race by 10 to 20 percent each of the past five years.
The race has had to deal with some obstacles in
Due to timing issues, Pardo said an agreement was able to be worked out with the town to allow the intersection to be opened for a two-hour window from 8 to 10 a.m. on the day of the race to accomodate the runners.
"That was thanks to John O'Keefe and Lee Krohn and Tricia Hayes as well as the select board. All of them realized how important this was to business community. They realized how much of an impact it was having to the non-profit organizations putting that on," said Pardo. "That's been our course now for five years. If we had advanced notice maybe we could have redesigned the course, but to remeasure, reposition all the water stop people, reposition all the police that were directing traffic, there really wasn't adequate time to make that adjustment. Certifying the measurement of the course was right down to the yard so it would have been tough."
Hayes, said when discussions of closing the intersection first surfaced they wanted to make sure the Maple Leaf Half-Marathon could move forward.
"It was really the thought [by] all the Town officials, John O'Keefe, Lee Krohn and myself to recognize the importance of the Maple Leaf and the tremendous growth they have had over the past several years," Hayes said. "No matter what we were committed to the race going forward and we worked with the contractor to make sure there would be a relatively smooth road and open to travel for the race."
Hayes continued to say that having the intersection shut down with the exception of the runners may actually improve the conditions as runners would not have to worry about the traffic.
Last year, Tropical Storm Irene played a role in the number of runners that participated in the race. Before Irene hit last year, Pardo said they were receiving a good number of people registering for the race and they still ended up having somewhere between 825 and 850 participate.
Though close to 1,000 runners are expected and the intersection is near the beginning of the course - a time when the field is typically still bunched up - Pardo does not expect any problems as a result.
"Even though they're bunched up, I don't think you're going to have any more than 50 to 75 [runners] going over the area at any one time," Pardo said.