- Barrier separation of the full and half marathon courses (last year cones didn't work).
- Strict enforcement of start corral entry based on predicted race pace (last year people lined up wherever they wanted).
- 2-3 minute separation between all start corrals (last year only the first few corrals were separated at all).
- Partnership with WaterMonster to provide safe water at aid stations (last year many people claimed to get sick from the race water).
- Larger finish area with bag pickup included (last year the finish area was overcrowded and bag pickup was indoors and overcrowded).
- Easier access to the start corrals (last year there was basically one sidewalk for everyone to find the right corral).
- Mid-strip finish for easy walking access back to most strip hotels (last year people found it difficult to get back from the finish at Mandalay Bay).
I'm glad to see they didn't get rid of the marathon like I thought they might, and instead they are committed to fixing the race. I think the improvements look promising, quite a few of them are exactly what I suggested back in December.
I still have two big concerns. First, will they find enough volunteers or employees to enforce the start corral rules? Second, with the participant cap still set at 45,000 this year, is it just unavoidable that at times the start area, half course, and finish area will be overcrowded?
I'm not entirely convinced that the improvements will work avoid overcrowding, but I would definitely like to run the race and find out firsthand. I have written them about pacing so hopefully I will be there, but if I don't end up getting a pacer spot I will opt for pacing the St. Jude Memphis Marathon again that weekend instead.