CINCINNATI – Thousand will gather this weekend to raise money, and awareness for a good cause.
The 37th annual American Heart Mini Marathon will kick off with the Heart & Wellness Expo at the Duke Energy Center starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. A mascot and kid’s fun run for those under 7 years old will start at noon.
Then on Sunday starting at 7:30 a.m. children and adults will take to a newly designed Heart Mini course for the classic 15K mini marathon and the half-marathon.
The 5K run, 2K Kids Mini MaraFun, 5K/10K heart walk and 1K Steps for Strokes will start at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 p.m., noon and 12:15 p.m. respectively.
Last year, the Heart Mini organizers changed the course due to the explosive growth in its popularity. Since 2010 the weekend has seen a 30 percent increase in registration.
Lori Fovel with the American Heart Association said the course change that tweaked the start and finish of the race, and removing the Torrence Parkway leg, in 2013 helped runners and organizers alike.
“It was mostly because we had runners starting and finishing at the same place in years past,” Fovel said. “It caused a jam and we had to have a separate start and finish area.”
That start for half and 15K runners is on 5th Street just past Main Street, with a finish on 6th Street one block over this year.
Aaron Motley, an event specialist with the American Heart Association, said this year’s changes were made to accommodate streetcar construction on Main Street and to do away with a few turns in last year’s course.
Specifically for half and 10K runners, Motley and crew added a run up Delta Avenue for the first time, somewhat making up for the loss of Torrence.
“I would like to think it’s a happy medium,” Motley said of the Delta change.
The tweaks also took out a few turns along Riverside Drive toward the end of the course.
Marathon organizers also released the following list of street closures that run from 4:30 a.m. Sunday through 6 p.m.
Fifth Street – closed between Vine Street and Columbia Parkway: closed between Culvert Street and Eggleston Avenue.
Fourth Street – closed between Culvert Street and Eggleston Avenue
Walnut Street – closed between Fourth Street and Sixth Street Main Street: Closed between Fourth Street and Sixth Street
Sycamore Street – closed between Fourth Street and Seventh Street
Broadway – Closed between Fourth Street and Seventh Street: closed between Third Street and E Pete Rose Way.
Sentinel Street – closed between Culvert Street and Fifth Street
Sixth Street – closed between Columbia Parkway and Sycamore Street Exit ramp from I-471 closed.
Seventh Street – closed between Broadway and Culvert Street.
Culvert Street – closed between Reedy Street and Fifth Street.
E Pete Rose Way – closed between Eggleston Avenue and Broadway.
E Mehring Way – closed between Joe Nuxhall Way and E Pete Rose Way
Eggleston Avenue (southbound only) – closed between Reedy Street and E Pete Rose Way.
Taylor Southgate Bridge – CLOSED
Columbia Parkway – closed between Fifth Street and Delta Avenue
Kemper Lane – closed between Columbia Parkway and Francis Lane
Martin Street access ramp to westbound Columbia Parkway closed.