The Stockadeathon course is changing, becoming a less-challenging race held at an earlier time for the 2014 edition of the race.
If the proposed route is approved by the city, runners will start on the State Street hill, next to MVP Healthcare in downtown, and run downhill toward the Stockade neighborhood.
The change eliminates the painful uphill run on State Street.
It also highlights the race’s new title sponsor, MVP.
The race is tentatively scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m., rather than 9 a.m., and runners are expected to be off State Street by 8:45 a.m. The road would reopen immediately, allowing churchgoers to get to services on time.
In the past, some churchgoers have complained every year about how difficult it is to get around the race in time for church services. State Street has been generally closed until 9:45 a.m. or later.
The route would still go through Central Park and Vale Park, but would end by City Hall on Franklin Street. The final 1.5 miles would be downhill, allowing for faster, easier finishes, according to Race Director Vince Juliano.
“It’s going to be good for the runners. Downhill at the end. We anticipate the runners will like this. It will be a fast finish, and when they’re tired they’ll be running downhill,” he said.
Most of the course will remain the same.
“They’ll be running the Stockadeathon course in general, in reverse order,” he said.
He added that the change will give runners more space to park at the many parking lots downtown, and he hopes to use Key Hall as a warming station for runners before the race. Refreshments would be served there after the race.
Plans aren’t finalized yet, and he is planning to apply for the race permit later this month.
“But we expect it to go through,” he said, adding that he has had talks with city officials.