Country Music Marathon finalizes course, downtown start - WSMV Channel 4

Country Music Marathon finalizes course, downtown start

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Organizers have finalized the route for the 2014 Country Music Marathon and it starts in the heart of lower Broadway.

Runners will begin the race near Bridgestone Arena, and cross the finish line at LP Field after 26 miles.

The race had started outside Centennial Park on West End in previous years. Organizers said the move downtown makes more sense for runners, spectators and event staff.

Runners will be closer to downtown hotels, and people wanting to watch the start and finish lines only have to walk a short way over the Cumberland River.

Organizers said starting under the glow of Broadway should provide an extra boost of energy and the new design makes the race more of a "loop" than a "point-to-point" event.

"The original course did highlight some of the best neighborhoods that Nashville has to offer," said race director Malain McCormick.

"We're going to continue to keep that in the course. So you're still going to see Belmont Boulevard, 12 South, Germantown. Marathoners will get to see Metrocenter and East Nashville. There will just be some tweaking for the roads that we'll use," she said.

The majority of runners come from other cities and many of them wanted to see more of downtown, McCormick added.

She said the weather seems to alternate every year. That would put this year's race on track for warm conditions after 2013 brought a cold, steady rain for much of the day. 

This year will be the 15th running of the marathon. It is scheduled for April 26.

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