Don’t be alarmed at the influx of fitness-apparel-clad, sneaker-wearing runners descending on the City-By-The-Sea this weekend. It’s the annual Amica Newport Marathon, and runners from across the country and around the globe will be in town to compete on 13.1 or 26.2 miles of Newport and Middletown’s most beautiful roads. The event is produced by Gray Matter Marketing.
The 3,800 participants are traveling from near and far — more than 20% of the runners are from Rhode Island, and some are coming from as far as Quatar, New Zealand, and Japan. Approximately 61% of the registered runners are female, and approximately 70% of all registered runners are running the half marathon, with the additional 30% running the marathon.
As of September 21st, 212 of those registered for the road race call Newport, Middletown or Portsmouth home.
As a total, the event will raise more than $80,000 for local and national charities. $50,000 of that total are direct donations to the event’s partner charities: The Aquidneck Land Trust, Clean Ocean Access, the Newport County YMCA, Boys Town New England, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, and the Ronald McDonald House of Providence. In addition, runners have created their own fundraisers for causes close to their hearts; John Detoma, from Uxbridge, Massachusetts, raised the most money in his fundraiser for Operation Homefront.
On Saturday, participants will be congregating at Easton’s Beach to pick up their race materials, and on Sunday the actual event will take place. The event start is at 7:30AM sharp, with both half marathoners and marathoners starting at the same time. The course starts from Easton’s Beach, heading up Memorial Boulevard to Thames Street, then down to King’s Park and around to Fort Adams. Runners will then complete the entire loop of Ocean Drive, bringing them to Bellevue Avenue and Ruggles before returning to the beach. Half marathoners will finish here, and the marathoners will continue past the beach towards Tuckerman Ave. and out on to Easton’s Point. They will then descend the hill at Surfer’s End and follow a loop out and back on Sachuest Point before turning on to Third Beach Road and finally on to Indian Avenue. Their final few miles will be and out-and-back on Indian Avenue and neighboring roads before returning via Hanging Rock Road to Sachuest Point and finally up and over the hill back to the finish at Easton’s Beach.
As far as traffic impact, the Newport and Middletown Police Department will do their best to minimize traffic delays while also providing a safe running event. Memorial Boulevard in front of Easton’s Beach will close at 7:00 AM and traffic will be diverted. This area will be impacted until roughly 8:00 AM. Thames Street will be closed from about 7:30 AM to 8:15 AM. Roads will mostly remain open with police details at intersections, so do expect some delays. Runners will remain on roads in Newport until approximately 11:00 AM and in Middletown until approximately 1:30 PM. Drivers are asked to be aware and drive safely where runners are on the road.
For more information, visit www.newportmarathon.com.