Race to save the Printery: First-ever Tent City Marathon set for March 25

The Old Printery Building that has stood sentinel over the city of Atascadero for more than 100 years, as a focal point of the community and a center of local industry now stands empty. The once grand building has been repeatedly vandalized and is now boarded up. The Atascadero Printery Foundation, a local non-profit organization, is looking to bring a little life, and some much-needed funds, back to this ailing structure. Tent City Marathon is hosting a 5K, 10K, Half, and Full Marathon, right here in Atascadero, to raise money for the historic E.G Lewis Printery Building.

What the printery will eventually turn into is still in the air, but the community has been very involved in the process.

“We put out a survey recently asking people to put in input as to what we should do with the building,” said Victoria Hartt, Race Director of the Tent City Marathon. “We want the community to feel like it is theirs.”

There have been many ideas discussed as possible uses for the building including creating a stage for theater and stand-up comedy, using the large kitchen for culinary classes and even creating a small museum of Atascadero’s history.

Tent City Marathon will take place Sunday, March 25. It will be the first USA Track and Field Sanctioned Full Marathon to ever take place in the North County.

“This race is unique,” Hartt said. “It’s a race designed for serious runners, walkers, and folks who don’t care for running at all. They are all coming together to support The Printery Foundation’s goal to rehabilitate our historic building.”

The race has participants from all over the world including Spain, England, New York, Alaska, and five other states, in addition to locals. The event is perfect for runners, walkers, and spectators. There’s even a “race” for people who would like to help the cause but rather not race at all. The “0.0 None Run” encourages participants to bring lawn chairs, blankets, or bean bag chairs and lounge on the start/finish line. All racers (even the None Runners) will be treated to a beer or cupcake at the finish line.

Racers and spectators can also partake in the Race Expo that will be positioned at the finish line. The Expo will have live music, a beer/wine garden, food vendors, wellness and fitness tents, local businesses, and community nonprofits. All proceeds from the race will support the Atascadero Printery Foundation, a volunteer-run group dedicated to restoring the building to its previous grandeur and service.

“The Printery is a piece of local history,” said Foundation President Karen McNamara. “The Foundation’s goal is to keep the building alive, so the city can keep can keep enjoying it for another 100 years. It’s going to take a lot fundraising to make that vision a reality — which is why we’re hoping that SLO County will strap on their running shoes and race to save the Printery.”

Sign up for the Tent City Marathon online, or in person at The Hope Chest Emporium (5800 El Camino Real in Atascadero) or at the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the race, visit https://www.tentcitymarathon.com.


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