Lansing Marathon May Cause Traffic Delays Sunday
Race organizers are gearing up for Lansing's first marathon on Sunday. The 26.2 mile course may be a challenge to run, but it could also be a challenge to drive around.
The race starts at the Accident Fund Building and ends at the State Capitol. The 26.2 mile course takes runners through Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Township, giving runners a variety between urban settings and wide open spaces.
Lansing police say the city has never had an event this big, but they've been working around the clock to make sure things go smoothly.
The Lansing Police Department took organizers of the Lansing Marathon on a ride-along Thursday, going over the course one last time.
"We want to make sure we understand the route, the barricades that will be needed, and the security to keep the course safe," said Bill Ewing, the operations director for the Lansing Marathon.
The team has been working on course logistics since last summer, recently perfecting the course to give the nearly 2,000 participants a wide variety of running conditions.
"What makes Lansing unique is you can be running 5 minutes from the downtown area, and almost instantaneously you're out in farm country," said Ewing. "Which I think makes this course unique to ones I've done."
But covering such a large area means calling in more manpower.
"The city has never had an event that's quite this big," said Sgt. Leigh Curtis of the Lansing Police Department. "So we've had to ask for a lot of different help from a lot of different agencies in the area."
About 50 officers and 60 to 70 volunteers will be on the course route itself to help manage the traffic. The course roads won't be completely closed to cars, but organizers say traffic will be stopped at major intersections to let runners pass.
"It's impossible to put on an event like this, over 26.2 miles of roads, without inconveniencing the citizens of the area," said Ewing. "So we ask for their patience and sense of safety when around runners."
The course will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, but the organizers will be following the last runner and clearing the course as they go.
A few streets will be completely closed to traffic at the beginning and at the end of the race, including the 100 and 200 block of N. Grand, the 200 to 400 block of East Michigan, and the Capital stretch between Ottawa and Allegan.
Lansing police say their priority is keeping the runners safe, but they'll work hard to keep traffic moving. For a complete look at the course map, visit www.lansingmarathon.com.