Whether fair or not, the Madison Marathon has gained a reputation in recent years for poor organization and mistakes that compounded the struggles of the runners, particularly those in back of the pack.
Hot weather, something far beyond the organizers' control, has been a significant factor. Runners suffered heat distress and hyponatremia in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
This year, the staff from Madison Festivals Inc. is assuring the roughly 7,700 participants expected Sunday that they have learned their lessons.
According to this story in the Wisconsin State Journal, the 2011 edition will have an altered course lay out to avoid overlapping marathon and half-marathon runners, a new timing company, better-trained volunteers and more water stops and portable bathrooms.
This year, the marathon starts and finishes on the Capitol Square.