Thursday, April 22, 2010

Record number to participate in 11th annual marathon

WKRN Channel 2 News NASHVILLE, Tenn. - More than 32,000 runners are expected to participate in this year's Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon, an increase over last year and the ninth straight year event has grown. Runners from across the country and the world began arriving in Nashville Thursday morning and will continue to do so over the next two days. Adam Zocks, general manager for the Country Music Marathon, told News 2 more than 50% of participants travel from out of state, which is a giant boost for the local economy. "We want out-of-towners coming here and being a part of this event and seeing Nashville and hopefully coming back other times during the year," he said. "It's a $40 million-plus economic impact event so its one of the biggest in Nashville and as the event grows, that number is going to just keep going up." More than 4,100 children in kindergarten through sixth grade will be running in the Kids Marathon Friday night at LP Field, up from only 35 participants the first year. Centennial Park will once again be the start of the full and half marathon. Runners in both will cross the finish line at LP Field. The weather is becoming a big concern for race day as severe weather is in the forecast. Race organizers were expected to present their plan should severe weather arise later on Thursday. Runners looking to participate in the race can still do so by registering at the marathon's Health and Fitness Expo. The expo, held at the Nashville Convention Center in downtown, opens at 1 p.m. and will feature more than 100 exhibitors with the latest in sports apparel, health and nutritional information and more. It is free and open to the public. The fee to sign up is $145. There were about 500 spots left. To accommodate the marathon, roads will be closed throughout Music City on Saturday. West End Avenue, from 31st Avenue to 21st Avenue, will close at 3 a.m. Saturday and reopen at 9 a.m. West End, from 21st Avenue to 16th Avenue will close at 6 a.m. and reopen at 8:30 a.m. Broadway, from 16th Avenue to 4th Avenue will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 am. Demonbreun Street from Fourth Avenue through the Music Row Roundabout will also be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The marathon will also impact interstate traffic. The following off-ramps will be closed in both directions beginning at 6:15 a.m. •I-40 to Broadway, will reopen at 9 a.m. •I-40 to Demonbruen Street, will reopen at 9:30 a.m. •I-65 to Rosa Parks Boulevard, will reopen at 1:30 p.m. Click here for a complete list of road closures. Visit for complete marathon details.

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