Safety of runners major concern for weekend marathon - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Safety of runners major concern for weekend marathon

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As thousands of visitors pack Albany for some big events this weekend, safety will be a major concern.

Runners from all over the country will take part in the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon, and hundreds of volunteers and police will cover the course to keep runners and drivers safe.

On Thursday they got an overview of their duties.

"We're here to give them support, keep them hydrated, and help them through the finish line if needed," said Melissa Howard, Marathon Volunteer.

Hundreds of volunteers will line the race route, with police at the main intersections.

"The purpose of the road Marshals is to keep the runners safe to keep the cars from pulling into intersections while the runners cross," said Judy Randle, Volunteer Coordinator.

"Runners are going to have the right of way in these areas so drivers are going to need to prepare to stop at any point," said Cpl. Jon Segroves, Albany Police Department.

For the race there will be no road closures, so runners will be sharing the road.

"If you're at an intersection be patient they will let you through as soon as the runners have passed," said Randle.

With the Oglethrope Bridge being the only downtown crossing, one lane in each direction will be shut down for runners.

"There will be officers stationed all through the course to make sure the runners cross major intersections safely," said Segroves.

As with many who will help make the run a success, Melissa said she's volunteering to show some southern hospitality.

"I think it's great to support the community this is a fantastic event it brings thousands of people here to Albany, and it's a great way to get Albany on the map," said Howard.

With the help of volunteers and police, organizers say all the runners should have to do is concentrate on the finish line.

Race organizers say if you have to get from one side of the city to the other, consider using the bypass instead of trying to drive through town.

They still need about 20 more volunteers.

If you want to help, Call (229) 349-1404.

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