Thousands pour into Albany for weekend events - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thousands pour into Albany for weekend events

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thousands of visitors are in Albany for one of the biggest weekends of the year.

The civic center will be packed and so will the streets, for the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon, the Regions Bike Races, and a Mardi Gras celebration.

The ballrooms at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown were busy, as runners checked in for checked in for this weekend's races.

"This is my first marathon," said Bryan Young, from Greenville, SC.

Young is one of them, he just got into town. "It's a really nice city I'm looking forward to running it. I'm looking forward to running it," said Young.

He and close to 1,500 others.

"This is a record for us," said Catherine Glover, Albany Chamber President.

Many will try to run fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

"We do this for some people some want to qualify for Boston," said. Robert Gustafson, from Chattanooga, TN.

Robert Gustafson is a pace runner. "We'll be running eight minute miles every mile," he said.

Friday night Vendors got an early start, as people hit the streets for tonight's First Friday celebration.

Tomorrow's Mardi Gras street festival will even bigger.

"Just out enjoying myself, I'm having a great time," said Trenchard, from British Columbia, Canada.

That's were we found Hugh Trenchard who's here from British Columbia; he's here for the marathon.

This evening, the Civic Center was also packed as thousands attended the WWE Road to Wrestle Mania match.

More than 7,300 people showed up, an event record for WWE in Albany.

The new chamber president was impressed at how smoothly every thing has started.

"I'm completely impressed by the logistics, by the volunteerism of our community," said Glover.

As the runners load up on carbohydrates, and the city preps for the big crowds, many of whom they hope return.

"Come back and see us sometime when you've got some time to explore all that Albany has," said Glover.

As dark gives way to light Saturday will get a chance to show visitors a little about why they call this the Good Life City.

Both the marathon and half marathon start at 7PM Saturday, the Mardi Gras party runs from noon to midnight.  

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