Signs forewarning of road closures are just part of the final marathon preparations.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -
Electronic message board signs are now up around Fayetteville forewarning drivers about road closures because of the All American Marathon on Sunday morning.
Those signs are a visible indication of the planning Fayetteville and Fort Bragg organizers have been coordinating for more than a year.
Road closures will affect many downtown streets Sunday morning. Other significant closures include a stretch of Morganton Road and lanes of the All American Expressway that drivers usually travel on as they are headed away from Fort Bragg. A full list of road closures because of the All American Marathon and Mike to Mike Half Marathon can be found here.
Fayetteville Police Captain Lars Paul said many people directly affected by the closures have received notice.
"We've done reverse 911 calls to the residents who live along the route," Paul said. "[Also] we sent out literature in the mail already."
Parking for the race day will be available near the start in downtown Fayetteville and near the finish on Fort Bragg. Maps of parking areas and information about shuttles between the start area and finish area are available here.
Because the race begins well before the start of church services, organizers do not anticipate the event will interfere with people attending church services in downtown Fayetteville. Church parking lots will not be available to runners or race spectators.
Access to Fort Bragg will operate under special event rules. Anyone who is not a Department of Defense identification holder is encouraged to apply for an access pass in advance if possible. Passes are available at the welcome center at the All American Freeway access point to Fort Bragg. The welcome center is open 24/7.
If a pass cannot be obtained before Sunday, anyone who needs to access Fort Bragg without a DOD identification should go to one of the following three access gates:
All American Freeway
Knox Street at Bragg Boulevard
Randolph Street at Bragg Boulevard
More details about Fort Bragg access can be found here.
"We’re really looking forward to this," said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum. "We know it’s going to be successful. The whole goal of this is we want our All American Marathon to be the Army’s marathon, and we think we we’re perfectly situated on I-95 to help feed that."
McCollum said the All American Marathon and Mike to Mike Half Marathon offer unique access to a military base compared to other running events of similar size.
He pointed out that the Marine Corps Marathon is not held anywhere near a Marine Corps base and that the Air Force Marathon does not take runners onto the operational area of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
"As far as we know we cannot find any other marathons or races to this extent that actually take you on in-depth into a military community," McCollum said.
The planning for the inaugural All American Marathon and Mike to Mike Half Marathon has taken a substantial amount of teamwork. McCollum said it demonstrates collaboration between Fort Bragg and Fayetteville. He sees the event as a way to show off the city and the Army post, as well as the partnership between the two.
"No one will ever say that Fort Bragg tried to hide this marathon," McCollum said. "Then, just coming out of Fayetteville [runners will] pass five different parks. I really think a lot of people's eyes will open up that there's more to Fayetteville than what makes some of the headline news."
McCollum said the event is also a way for Fort Bragg to give back to the Fayetteville community. He said the area has supported Fort Bragg and its military families.
"We're giving the city and everybody down here a chance to really shine and paint a positive picture of Fayetteville and the Fort Bragg community," McCollum said.
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>