Louisiana Marathon organizers to adjust race complying with COVID-19 safety measures
BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Marathon is moving ahead with plans for its big run this weekend a few weeks behind the original schedule.
This year, 4,000 runners are signed up for the event that will wind through downtown Baton Rouge both Saturday and Sunday. Normally, double the amount of runners participate.
Organizers had to meet strict guidelines to host the races. A safety plan was sent, and approved by the Louisiana Department of Health, the State Fire Marshall and the City-Parish.
Some of the safety measures include both the half and full marathon having a staggered start. Runners will have to wait their turn before taking off, and they will be chipped to track their time. Runners will also have to wear masks up until they cross the starting line, and spectators are asked to stay away from the start and finish line to avoid large crowds.
This will be one of the first large events taking place during the pandemic, and downtown business owners are excited.
“Immediately, as soon as they announced when the event was going to be we started to get people calling to make their reservations,” said Ben Blackwell, the general manager at the Courtyard Marriott.
Blackwell says rooms at the hotel are booked up this weekend.
“It’s very nice to have, it’s very nice to see an event occurring especially during covid,” said Blackwell. “It's such an important thing for the hospitality industry, the tourism industry, and not just hotels but bars and restaurants and retail. It's such a catalyst to bring into Baton Rouge."
There won’t be a post-race festival like in years past.
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