Albany, Georgia, welcomes runners from around the world, March 3
Area residents will notice several temporary road closings in the area on Saturday, March 3, when one of the top 10 qualifiers for the Boston Marathon, the SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon, welcomes almost 2,000 participants to the area.
Course records were set in 2011 by Tesfaye Alemayehu, who trains in Antioch, CA, shattering the 26.2 mile course and setting a race record of 2:17:09 and in 2008 by Janet Cherobon from Lawrenceville, GA, with a time of 2:37:26.
At press time, 454 folks have signed up to run the marathon and 324 for the half marathon. Last year, the event saw 1,364 registered runners.
The Albany Marathon announced its re-branding to the SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon in 2016. The race originally started as the SNICKERS® MARATHON® Energy Bar Marathon and Half Marathon, to which the runners nicknamed it the SNICKERS® Marathon. MARS Chocolate Plant Manager, Mack Phillips took notice and recommended re-branding the race to the SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon.
“Every peanut that goes into any SNICKERS® product is first roasted here. So working with our corporate branding and with Rashelle and team, we have been able to secure sponsorship going forward and will be re-branding the marathon as the SNICKERS® Marathon,” said Phillips. “We believe the power of the brand will only help our promotions for the races as there are very few brands that are as recognizable as SNICKERS®.”
Marathon proceeds benefit the Willson Hospice House. Those proceeds are totaled at $215,000 to date.
In an effort to increase community support, residents are encouraged to show pride and spirit by setting up chairs and drinking coffee in their front yard during the race. This is a fantastic time to bring out noisemakers and cheer on the runners. The support helps runners throughout the route. Tweet pictures to @AlbanyMarathon, share on Instagram @AlbanyGAMarathon and on Facebook tag the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon page while rooting on the runners.
The marathon route is described as fast and flat and includes a scenic tour of Albany, including the following points of interest:
- Start is on Front Street next to Veteran’s Park, near the Riverfront
- Pass Albany’s historic Sand Dunes, thought to be the northern reaches of the Gulf of Mexico thousands of years ago
- Two college campuses, Albany State University East and West Campus
- Lake Loretta
- Circles through Rawson Circle, a designated garden neighborhood
- Hilsman Park–a natural limesink
- Through Thronateeska Heritage Museum and the old train depot
- Finish is along the river trail at RiverFront Park behind the Albany Welcome Center
Marathon sponsors include:
Mars Chocolate North America
Procter & Gamble
Mauldin & Jenkins
Reeves Construction Co.
Albany Technical College
Oxford Construction Company
Pre-Race Festivities, March 2, 2018
3-9 p.m.: Runners Expo & Registration Packet Pick-Up (No Race Day Registration)
Albany Civic Center
March 3, 2018 Race Start/Times
Crank and Wheel Chairs start at 6:45 a.m.
The marathon and half marathon begin together at 7 a.m.
Awards Ceremony at the Horace King Overlook behind the Bridge House
Awards for both the Marathon and the Half Marathon will be begin at 9 a.m. and continue as winners cross the finish line. A photo opportunity will be provided at the MARS Chocolate Tent for award winners and all runners.
All Marathon and Half Marathon finishers will win a 2018 Albany Marathon or Half Marathon Finisher Medal immediately upon crossing the finish line. Age Group Awards will be awarded to the top three in each age category for the Marathon and Half Marathon.
Marathon & Half Marathon Age Groups (Men & Women):
Under 20, 21-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+
Course Time Limits
The course will remain open for seven hours (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
If driving, there will be parking available at the James H. Gray Civic Center near the start line.
17th Annual Mardi Gras Street Festival
Downtown Albany is celebrating a late Mardi Gras with a music festival on Saturday, March 3, at the 100 Block of Pine Avenue.
The festival kicks off at noon with the opening ceremony and grooves on until 8 p.m. The event will feature bands, vendors, attractions and crafters throughout the day. Cost of admission is $5 per individual; children 10 and under are free. Free Admission tickets will be given to each participant and volunteer of the Marathon.
“Weekends in February and March are typically a bit slow for the local hospitality industry. Combining the SNICKERS® Marathon and Half-Marathon with the Better Albany Group’s Mardi Gras celebration made for a perfect partnership,” says Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau Director, Rashelle Beasley.