Parts of Decatur will see up to 5,000 runners pass through the community on Sunday, March 20, when participants in the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon take to the streets in the early morning hours.
The course, which begins at 7 a.m., and ends at Centennial Park, enters the community via Freedom Parkway by The Carter Center. It continues through the Poncey-Highland neighborhood where the Half Marathon splits from the regular course.
Marathon participants continue through Candler Park; on Ponce de Leon; under the MARTA tracks onto College Avenue; through the campus; by the Decatur Square; onto the Emory University campus; and through the Druid Hills neighborhood past the house featured in “Driving Miss Daisy.”
Participants then pass through Virginia Highlands and exit via the Park Drive bridge into Piedmont Park and Midtown.
U.S. Road Sports & Entertainment Group, along with Publix, is also sponsoring the Georgia Marathon Neighborhood Challenge. Cheering zones are being set up in various neighborhoods and communities along both the Marathon and Half Marathon courses.
The cheering zones are located at:
· Mile 4, Edgewood Avenue and Randolph Street, Sponsor: Fourth Ward Neighbors/Fourth and SAND.
· Mile 6, E. Freedom Parkway and North Highland Avenue. Sponsor: Poncey-Highland Neighborhood Association.
· Mile 8, Candler Park Drive and McLendon Avenue. Sponsor: Candler Park Neighborhood Organization.
· Mile 13, E Ponce De Leon and Clairemont Avenue. Sponsor: .
In the days immediately after the race, runners will vote for their favorite cheering zone, and the top two in the Marathon and Half Marathon divisions will be awarded grants for neighborhood fitness initiatives.
Other activities over race weekend include the Publix Georgia Marathon Health and Fitness Expo on Friday from noon to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, at the Georgia Dome; and the Run Wild 5K and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday. Both races are being held in Grant Park at 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., respectively.
An economic impact study performed by the Temple University Sport Industry Research Center last May determined that the 2010 Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon generated more than $7 million in economic impact to metro Atlanta. For more information on the event go to www.rungeorgiamarathon.com.