Challenges stemming from flooding on the Greenbelt keep on coming.

Now it's forcing the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon scheduled for May 20th to change course.

The race, which has been a tradition for 39 years, is typically run along the Greenbelt. But because of Greenbelt closures, organizers had to come up with a new course.

The changes weren't easy. Organizers had short notice and just found out three weeks ago they'd have to find a new course for the races later this month.

Another issue is finding a course that can be certified to be a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, a big reason that some people participate in this race.

"We knew people were depending on this race to be that qualifier for them,” said Allison Evaro, events coordinator, Treasure Valley Family YMCA. “There's only so many in the Northwest, so making sure we could get it certified was very important for us."

The flooding and closures along the Greenbelt left some worried the race might not happen.

"The full marathon is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon, so some of them were concerned about the course being flat and fast, it is still very flat and very fast, we're certifying it as quickly as we can," said Avaro.

Evaro says the race will go on and she is confident they'll get the proper certification for the new course.

Meanwhile, the new course for the full marathon begins at Lucky Peak, and because of flooding, utilizes more roads and trails instead of the Greenbelt to reach the finish line at Albertsons headquarters on Parkcenter Boulevard.

"We're going to be out in southeast Boise a little bit more, we go through Surprise Valley for a little out and back, we go around the Barber Valley area and come on to Eckert through Barber Park," said Avaro.

In previous years, the course finished at Ann Morrison Park.

Evaro says with the changes to the course, they also had to make changes in planning -- like changing water stations, notifying people and businesses along the new course, and now they even need more volunteers.

"The course has been the same for 30 some years and now it's different,” said Avaro. “It kind of was a nice tradition and was easy this has kind of just made it more exciting."


The YMCA Famous Idaho Potato Marathon, presented by the Idaho Potato Commission, will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017. The marathon is a fun full marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K course along the Boise greenbelt. All courses are flat and fast! This marathon can be used to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Race Start Times

Marathon and Half Marathons begin at 7:00 a.m.
5K and 10K starts at 10:00 a.m.

YMCA Famous Idaho Potato Expo & Packet Pick-Up
Date: May 19, 2017 from 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The YMCA Famous Idaho Potato Expo at The Riverside Hotel, 2900 Chinden Blvd, Boise, is the place to pick up your race number and more.

The Expo offers a fun family environment with all kinds of exciting activities to check out. Plus, a pre-race buffet will be available from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm for athletes and their families. Runners need a nutritious and delicious meal before a big run! Tickets are $10 during online registrations and $12 the day of.

Team Participants

Get a group together from your office, school, church, family, or just a group of friends! Forming a team is a great way to take a step toward healthy living, and helps to build a network of people to encourage you in your fitness goals. Teams need to consist of 10 or more people. All team members will race under the same team name, but may complete different distances. Team participants can register online. Just ask all team members to enter your team name and team captain's name online to get the team rate.

For information on registration, click here.