Salisbury Marathon gaining momentum for April launch

As planning continues for Salisbury’s first marathon in the spring, Mayor Jake Day announced that both the full and half runs have been certified by the USA Track and Field organization.

There are already 250 paid registrants and Day expects the event to bring 1,200 to 1,500 people to town the first year.

Certification of the courses will ensure that distances are measured accurately and allow runners to use their results to apply for events such as the Boston Marathon. The half-marathon course can be used for application for the New York City Marathon.

Planned for Saturday, April 28, the SBY Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is expected to greatly boost the economy. It will cost the city $100,000, but, Day said, “The potential for tourism is massive. As a Boston qualifier, the Salisbury Marathon will be an event unlike anything Salisbury has experienced before.”

Jason Chance of the USA Track and Field Organization, race director for the event, said certification “brings to fruition our promise of bringing runners the course they need to qualify for prestigious events.”

“Obtaining certification is no small task. Through Jason’s efforts we were able to get the certification done on the first try, which means that every single detail was accounted for, and the course was precisely measured from the beginning.

“I cannot wait for this event, and I look forward to getting our city on the map as a national qualifier,” Day said.

With a promise of scenic trails along the Urban Greenway, the full marathon course will be 26.2 miles and the half will be 13.1 miles. The other run is the Pinwheels for Protection 5K, sponsored by the Life Crisis Center.

Proceeds from the entire event will benefit both Life Crisis and Athletes Serving Athletes, an organization for those living with disabilities who want to compete in mainstream running and triathlon events.

A post-race party will feature local craft beers and music.

Because much of the marathon will be run on county roads, county officials are requesting a detailed traffic control plan and proof of insurance, both which Day said they will certainly receive.

Assistant County Administrative Director Weston Young addressed a letter to Chance, stressing the importance of those documents.

“A detailed traffic control plan must be submitted to Public Works at least six months prior to the event,” Young wrote.

“For an inaugural event in which the majority of the course is falling on Wicomico County roads, it is imperative that a traffic control plan be submitted … public safety is of utmost concern and Public Works needs adequate time to review and comment on the proposed layout,” he wrote.

This week, Young told the Salisbury Independent representatives from the Sheriff’s Office and Department of Public Works have been meeting with Chance about the route and traffic control.

“They met in July with Public works. On Aug. 3, the Public Works director sent a request about the majority of the race route falling on county roads and that many of the roads have no shoulders and speed limits going from 20 to 50 mph,” Young said.

“Typically, when we have an event that is going to impact roads or close roads, we ask for a traffic control plan, sort of like a blueprint. This basically says where cones are going, where flaggers are going to get people to slow down, to say you can only go one way on this road that lets us know the speed. We don’t know this,” he said.

“It’s important because this is the first time doing it. Once you’ve had the race … you know what to expect and you tweak that. The first time you have an event, let’s say it’s 1,000 people. How do you make sure they go through the city of Salisbury, they go through the city of Fruitland, and a large part of it is on county roads? How do we keep those people safe?

“We want to be supportive. We don’t want to come across as, we are trying to hinder or hamper the event from happening. It’s good for Salisbury. It’s good for the county, but the majority is falling on country roads,” Young said.

Day said all county requests will be met and the city has received a permit from the State Highway Administration. Traffic control will be provided by the race.

The county, he said, will benefit from the increase in room taxes.

The city is not asking the county for help with the race, although city officials met with the Wicomico County Council, whose members asked how they can assist, Day said.

“We don’t need their help, but we will take it. The best kind of community event is when everybody has seen the benefit and works together,” the mayor said.

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment