New Albany marathon finish line - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New Albany marathon finish line

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

More than 1,400 runners are expected to cross the new finish line in Albany tomorrow morning.   The new route will bring runners right in front of Thronateeska Heritage Center for the first time, but the route has been officially certified for the Boston.

"Basically tomorrow morning this area is gonna be packed with people. We're gonna have spectators, we're gonna have runners and we're gonna have volunteers," said Lisa Riddle, Albany Marathon Board Member.

Mars, Miller/Coors and other sponsors will be set up at the finish line along with a hospitality tent offering massages.  Phoebe Putney hospital also set up a medical tent in the area. 

Shortly after the runners finish the marathon, awards will be handed out near the back of Roosevelt Avenue.

"Lots of good stuff going on down here at the finish line," said Riddle.

While workers set up the finish line, venders were getting ready for the 11th annual Mardi Gras festival.  The city shut down parts of Pine street, Front street and Broad avenue around noon for the setup, but this year's festival will have 25 fewer venders.

"we downsized it because we were starting to get a lot of complaints about duplicating merchandise, and the venders weren't making as much money," said Phil Cannon, Lead Organizer for the Albany Mardi Gras street festival.

Cannon expects more than 40-thousand people will make it out to this year's event, about ten thousand less than last year.  Tomorrow's cold temperatures are to blame for the expected drop in attendance, but at least blankets will be ready for the runners once they cross the finish line.

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