Chattanooga Marathon course to be certified by USA Track & Field
Last year's full marathon featured 639 runners, while the half included 1,601. However, a misplaced turnaround marker cut the race 0.28 miles short, and delayed hundreds of runners from qualifying for the Boston Marathon and other popular races.
The Chattanooga Marathon is back for its second year with about 3,500 runners expected to turn out.
Crews have been preparing for this year's marathon for months. As they wrapped up some finishing touches, organizers said they're confident it will be a successful weekend.
"We have a huge number of people involved from all areas of the city. We have people from out of town coming out as well. We have our sponsors and vendors coming here as part of the festivities so I mean it's a great crowd," said Chattanooga Track Club Manager, Stacey Malecky. "Chattanooga always comes through for stuff like this; this is a homegrown. It's a good time and people always come out they want to be a part of it.
Malecky said an event this large requires up to 600 volunteers.
The races kick off with Saturday's kids run and 5K, and then Sunday's half and full marathons.
Last year's full marathon featured 639 runners, while the half included 1,601. However, a misplaced turnaround marker cut the race 0.28 miles short, and delayed hundreds of runners from qualifying for the Boston Marathon and other popular races. Those affected by the error were offered a discounted rate of $40 for this year's event.
But Chattanooga Sports Committee President, Tim Morgan, said his team learned from past mistakes.
"We learned lot and we do believe, out of the gates, we came out strong," said Morgan. "What we've done this year is the course certifier that certifies the course is joining us this weekend, and he will lay out the course according to his certification."
Morgan added last year the 26.2 mile course was certified, but the representative from USA track and Field who certifies the course didn't come in from North Carolina to oversee it on race day.
Chattanooga police are also helping monitor the course and traffic ahead of the big day.
READ MORE | Road closures for the 2017 Chattanooga Marathon
With all hands on deck, Morgan believes this year's race will finish strong.
"Our entire team is working extremely hard to maximize the experience for everybody associated with it so it's going to be a lot of fun this weekend," said Morgan.
Registration ends Saturday morning. For more information on how to register and the weekend's full schedule, click here.