Based on some feedback we've received about marathon timing, it sounds like there's a wish for more opportunities for folks on US Eastern or further-west time zones to play on the official marathon cell before it's finished. There would be problems guaranteeing a continuous stream of marathon cells and handling the naming process for them; but because Scythes now have certain cell launch/deorbit tools, and because from the current marathon onward we've made all marathons Scythe-controlled, HQ is confident we could return to periodically starting marathons at a different time than 8 AM.
What we're now planning to do is on odd-month (non-challenge-week) marathons, such as the January marathon, we'll have the start time be 8 PM instead. This will give folks in the middle/western parts of the Americas, and perhaps just across the Pacific, more chances to actually play on the official cell. Hopefully this is a decent solution! (And don't worry, we're still also thinking of other ways to spice marathons up.)