Thousands of runners and spectators will take over Fresno and Clovis-area streets and trails Sunday for the Two Cities Marathon & Half.
In its 15th year, and ninth with a full marathon, the event is a San Joaquin staple, and race director Nate Moore has some changes in store for the milestone.
“We’ve got a lot of great stuff,” he said, including new finishers apparel – a jacket for those in the full and a quarter-zip pullover for those in the half.
Then there are the handcrafted medals. Moore met the medal maker, Eric Chrisman, originally of Visalia, while running in the Two Cities Ultramarathon. Two Cities offered the 50K in 2010-11.
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“I just think it’s really cool and puts a personal touch on more things,” Moore said. “They’re being handmade in California and by a guy who used to live out here and ran the race before. By somebody that shares that passion for running.”
Those jobs were fairly simple, with no more than a dozen or so medals to make. So when Moore asked Chrisman if he could fill an order of 3,000-plus for the Two Cities, it was a huge favor. The company was up to the task.
“Eric said if he started soon enough, he could get them done,” Moore said.
With Chrisman’s dedication to make each medal individually, they will reflect participants’ hard work and commitment to training.
“Yeah it’s pretty crazy,” Moore said. “It comes full circle.”
Reminder: Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday – don’t forget to set clocks back one hour
Changes also will be visible at the end of the course, where the finishers village will be much closer. That will make it easier for runners to meet friends and family after the race, Moore said.
Friant Road will be closed from Audubon Drive to Willow Avenue from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. Audubon will be closed between Del Mar Avenue and Friant Road.
Weather conditions are brewing up nicely for Sunday’s 6:30 a.m. marathon start, with temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford.
The full course begins at Friant Road, then takes runners into Old Town Clovis via the Fresno-Clovis Rail and Sugar Pine trails. Runners will loop back, then north onto Friant until the turnaround just south of Willow Avenue for the final 5-mile stretch into Woodward Park.
The Clovis half does not include the out-and-back along Friant. The Fresno half, also open to relays, follows both courses before turning around at Cedar and Shepherd avenues.
Space is still available in all the races, though fewer than 60 spots remain in the Clovis half. The marathon has about 300.
Hundreds of volunteers are expected to lend a hand. There will be 13 first-aid and 17 rehydration stations along the course and at the village. Volunteers can sign up at www.twocitiesmarathon.com.
MARATHON ROAD CLOSURES
A look at roads affected by Sunday’s Two Cities Marathon & Half in north Fresno and Clovis:
- Friant Road (Audubon to Willow), 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Shepherd Avenue (Friant to Willow, eastbound), 5-8:30 a.m.
- Shepherd (Friant to Willow, westbound), 5-11:30 a.m.
- Teague Avenue at the intersection of Willow Avenue, 6-10:30 a.m.
- Alluvial Avenue between Peach and Clovis avenues, 6-10:30 a.m.
- Also, streets inside Old Town Clovis, 7-10 a.m.
MAIN ALTERNATE ROUTES:
- North and southbound Willow Avenue
- East and westbound Nees Avenue
- East and westbound Herndon Avenue