HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Runners and those looking to cheer them on are gearing up for this year’s annual Rocket City Marathon, hosted by the Huntsville Track Club and the Huntsville Sports Commission.
At 7 a.m. competitors will take off from the starting lines on Church Street in front of Big Spring Park.
The course winds them through downtown Huntsville, out to the Space and Rocket Center, to the Botanical Garden and back.
Runners have six hours to complete the race. If they cannot, they’ll be transported to the finish line at the Von Braun Center’s South Hall.
This race has been a staple for Huntsville for more than four decades. It is one of the last Boston-qualifying races of the entire year, meaning athletes from all over the country are descending on the Tennessee Valley.
One official with the Huntsville Sports Commission said sports tourism is a huge part of what they do, and one way they’re pursuing that with this race is actually looking to the future, saying next year we’ll be seeing some changes.
“In 2022, we’re going to have an expanded marathon weekend, we’ll have races on Saturday and Sunday. We think we’ll even attract even more people and they’ll be spending more nights in Huntsville, which is great for our economy,” Huntsville Sports Commission Executive Director Mark Russell said.
With inclement weather in the forecast, organizers say they are prepared for a rain delay, but if they’re forced to delay the start for the marathon race more than one hour, all participants will run a half marathon instead.
The half marathon race is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.