Get your cowbells ready — Clovis’s largest running event is approaching.
Nearly 2,000 runners will navigate the Sugar Pine Trail and Clovis Old Town Trail in the annual Two Cities Marathon & Half on Nov. 1.
“If you live anywhere along the route, you should come out and cheer,” said race director Nate Moore, a 2001 Buchanan High School graduate. “That would be awesome.”
There are more than 1,400 people registered for the 13.1-mile Clovis Half marathon and about 400 registered for the full 26.2-mile Two Cities Marathon, which runs through Clovis and Fresno, Moore said.
An additional 800 are registered for the Fresno Half, which takes runners along Friant Road in northeast Fresno. The Fresno Half route is also host to a walking-only race and a two-person relay; about 200 are registered for each, Moore said.
Alert-O-Lite signs have been in place for more than a week along the marathon’s route, alerting residents of road closures and detours.
“Old Town Clovis is going to be closed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and Alluvial will be closed between Peach and Clovis avenues from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.,” Moore said. “North and southbound Willow will be open at all times. East and westbound Nees will be open at all times, as well as Herndon Avenue.”
Visit twocitiesmarathon.com for the race route and road closure map.
But instead of preparing for detours, Moore said, Clovis residents “should prepare to come out and cheer on all the runners.”
Motivational posters, megaphones and, yes, cowbells are welcome. Many participants have their names printed on their event bib numbers so that spectators can cheer for them personally.
Volunteers are also needed to help with parking and traffic control along the course. Visit twocitiesmarathon.com and click on “Volunteer” to sign up.
“There are a lot of intersections along the course where the police need help (controlling traffic),” Moore said.
Residents are encouraged to make their way to Old Town Clovis to cheer for runners. Clark Intermediate School and the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building are also prime spots to watch the race, he said.
Along with a new race director, the race, known locally as 2CM, has undergone a few more changes.
“We have a new logo, new gear and new medals,” Moore said.
The race expo — where participants pick up their bib numbers, t-shirts and visit vendor booths for last-minute essentials and apparel — has also been moved this year from its usual digs at Chukchansi Park.
The expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday at Clovis Veterans Memorial District, 808 4th St. — a place that’s close to Moore’s heart, as he is an Iraq War veteran who served in the Marine Corps.
On Sunday, the full marathon begins at 6:30 a.m., the Clovis Half begins at 7:15 a.m. and the Fresno Half events will start at 7:30 a.m.
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Nov. 1, so participants and spectators should remember to set their clocks back an hour.
Because the annual kids race lands on Halloween this year, 2CM has teamed up with the Monster Mash Dash to host its kids race. The race for the youngsters will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Shinzen Garden activity area of Woodward Park. Packet pickup will open at 8 a.m., followed by costume judging and costume awards. Visit monstermashdash.com for details.