Roads to close Saturday for half-marathon, 5K uptown

March 20, 2012

By ASHLEY JACKSON - Bulletin Staff Writer

Motorists planning to travel through the city on Saturday morning may find a few closed roads as hundreds of runners take part in the Martinsville half-marathon and 5K.

The roads that runners use will be closed until both runs are complete, said Brad Kinkema, executive director of the YMCA. City police will direct traffic at affected intersections and at access points to uptown businesses, he said.

The half-marathon will begin at 8 a.m., and the 5K will start shortly after, Kinkema said. Both will begin at the Martinsville YMCA.

The roads included in the 5K race route are Starling Avenue, Mulberry Road, Oakdale Street, Church Street, Moss Street, Main Street, Clay Street, Thomas Heights and Monroe Street.

The half-marathon route includes Starling Avenue, Mulberry Road, Oakdale Street, East Church Street, Moss Street, East Main Street, Ford Street, the Uptown Spur Trail and the Dick and Willie Passage.

The average time of completion for 5K runners, who will complete an approximately 3.1-mile route, is about 30 minutes. The half-marathon, which is about 13.1 miles, generally takes about two to three hours, Kinkema said.

By late last week, 348 people had signed up for the 5K and another 252 for the half-marathon. Kinkema said he expected another 200 people to sign up by start time.

Runners will come from Maryland; Washington, D.C.; South Carolina; North Carolina; West Virginia; Missouri; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; and all over Virginia, Kinkema said.

The number of runners has increased from last year, when about 500 people participated, Kinkema said.

He welcomed the public to come out and watch the race and cheer on the runners.

“It’s going to be a good day,” and a crowd of supporters is needed to encourage those visiting to come back, he added.

Registration forms for runners still are available at both the Martinsville and Collinsville YMCAs. The registration fee is $45 for the half-marathon and $25 for the 5K.

On race day, the fee will increase by $2 for each race, Kinkema said.

In conjunction with the race, a spaghetti dinner and motivational speech will be held Friday night.

The spaghetti dinner will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Martinsville Middle School cafeteria. The dinner is free to race participants and costs $5 for others.

Contact Kinkema at if you would like to attend or have your group attend.

Athlete and motivational speaker Hector Pickard will speak at 7:15 p.m. Friday in the Martinsville Middle School auditorium. Anyone is invited to attend the speech free of charge, Kinkema said.

Pickard will talk about how he was electrocuted at work in 1992. Afterward, he spent four weeks in a coma. He had a long recovery and lost his limbs; however, he doesn’t let his challenges limit him and still competes in half-marathons and half iron-man races, which include biking, running and swimming, Kinkema said.

Pickard will run in the Martinsville half-marathon on Saturday, Kinkema added.


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