The organizer of Hastings’ first-ever marathon hopes residents show their support Saturday morning by encouraging runners as they pass by as well as play music in their yards and driveways.
Race director Ron Alexander said that support could take the form of a stereo or someone performing live and people holding signs.
“We want as much entertainment as possible for those poor people who are going to run that far,” he said.
Last year’s road race event included a half marathon and other shorter distances. This is the first year for the marathon, which is certified as a Boston Marathon-qualifying race.
A total of 370 people have signed up to participate Saturday, including 50 marathon runners. In addition, 202 plan to do the half marathon and 118 will run the 5k race.
Runners will come from 20 different states, including as far away as California and Texas.
The marathon and half marathon races begin near the Hastings College campus and move through adjacent neighborhoods, progressing northwest into the Lake Hastings and Lochland areas before ending at Lake Hastings.
Streets along the route will be closed to traffic during the race. Roads near Lake Hastings also will be restricted. Participants and spectators are asked to park in nearby parking lots, including churches and businesses that will be closed Saturday, such as Hastings Physical Therapy and Hastings Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Specialists.
The 5k race is a loop around Lake Hastings, beginning and ending at the park. That also is where a 1-mile fun run takes place
The marathon begins at 6:15 a.m., the half marathon begins at 6:30 a.m., the 5k starts at 7 a.m. and the 1-mile fun run starts at 8:30 a.m.
Maps of the routes are available at www.hastingsmarathon.com.
Runners are expected to be on the full marathon course from 6:15 a.m. until around noon.
Again, Alexander said, any encouragement or assistance residents can provide for the runners would be appreciated.
“Even if (residents) would put a sprinkler out in their yard where (runners) can get a little break from the heat,” he said.
When local residents participate in the event like this, Alexander said, it puts Hastings in a favorable light for visitors.
“It’s something they take away from the event, just a culture,” he said. “It showcases our community a little bit more where people, when they consider running in the future, they remember what a warm, friendly place Hastings was.
“Anybody who’s run very far knows that those boosts of energy that come from just a little bit of music or a smile and wave go a long way.”
Click here to view a map of the marathon route.