For the first time, Meridian will host a full and half marathon through the city. The Leo Club is hosting the Leo Run to Remember and donating the proceeds to Alzheimer's research. Races like this one could mean a boost in tourism dollars for the city.
Tim Irvine, an official with the Leo Run to Remember, tells us, "Marathons traditionally bring in a good amount of people. A lot of these folks will come in and they'll stay overnight, generally for two nights because they're too tired or sore to drive back the night of the race."
Because of the race, there will be several locations throughout the city that will experience closed lanes or stopped traffic Saturday. The two major traffic impact areas will be Highway 39 South and Poplar Springs Drive at North Hills Street.
Irvine explains, "We'll leave Northeast Complex, leave on Highway 39 in the southbound lane in the far right hand lane which should be shut down all the way into the city of Meridian. At North Hills Street, the full and half marathons will split there."
The race will pass by several Meridian landmarks, including the Riley Center, Threefoot Building, and Union Station. The path of the race could not include everything, so it had to come down to the least impact on traffic in the city.
"Ultimately, it came down to what we as a collective group felt like the city would benefit most from," says Irvine.
Race officials are asking everyone from garage bands to non-runners to stand along the route and cheer the runners. The races begin at 7am and start and finish at Northeast Park.