Organizers say more than 7,000 runners are expected to participate.
Frederick, Md (KM). About 7,000 runners from 35 states and Canada will be taking part in the 17th Annual Frederick Running Festival this weekend. That’s according to Corrigan Sports Enterprises, which is organizing the event.
Lee Corrigan, the President of Corrigan Sports Enterprises, said during a news conference on Thursday that this is an increase from last year. “We are up 15% and we are hoping that holds up. But it certainly looks like we’re going to have a good year when it comes to our growth,” he says.
The Running Festival will have a Kids Fun Run on Saturday at 5:00 PM. At 6:00 PM, it’s the 5K Run, which is sold out. Corrigan says 2,000 people will take part in the 5K Run, and 4500 are expected to participate in the Half-Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, May 5th beginning at 7:00 AM in front of the Fairgrounds on East Patrick Street.
The Running Festival brings tourists to the city of Frederick, and Mayor Michael O’Connor is looking forward to that. “With our many great restaurants, fine eating establishments and shops, our beautiful downtown, shops all across the city, we hope that the runners and their supporters will come to town and patronize the many things this community has to offer,” he said.
John Fieseler, the Executive Director of Visit Frederick, hopes the runners will come back and visit Frederick in the future. “In addition to folks running the beautiful course, the runners themselves, if they haven’t been here before, see how gorgeous our community is, and will make plans to come back on a day when they’re less busy,”: he says.
These runners could end up settling down in Frederick, says Richard Griffin, Economic Development Director for the City of Frederick. “Community pride and place-making increases public interest in buying homes, in investing in our businesses, and as a community that’s striving to attract diverse talent to our community, place matters,” he says. “So these runners may also be people who may want to eventually come back and buy a home here, live here, have a business here, work for a business here.”
The Half-Marathon course will start in front of the Fairgrounds at East Patrick Street, and go down East Street to Monocacy Boulevard, New Design Road and Stadium Drive pass Harry Grove Stadium. The runners will travel up Market Street in the downtown, to North Bentz Street to Baker Park and Hood College. They will also head to the northern and eastern parts of Frederick, to Schifferstadt Boulevard, Monocacy Boulevard, Motter Avenue and Highland Street. The finish line will be in front of the grandstand. The total distance is 13.1 miles.
Corrigan says the race will take place, rain or shine. “The only thing that will stop us is bad thunder and lightning,” he says.
By Kevin McManus