OCEAN CITY – The route and date for the annual Ocean City Marathon has been set and runners will be crossing the Route 50 Bridge once again this year.
The 2008 Ocean City Half Marathon will be held on Saturday, April 12, and runners will cross the bridge in the 13.1-trek from the Inlet parking lot to Assateague after initial plans were to keep the race on the island.
The fate of the annual marathon was up in the air late last year as organizers for the event, Extreme Dream Events, made the decision to scrap the full marathon due to the Route 50 Bridge closure. In an effort to avoid canceling the event all together, Extreme Dream Events decided to hold a half-marathon and 5k run that would not require crossing the bridge. That route has changed however with the opening of the bridge, and runners will be following the traditional route in the half marathon.
“We will be using the same great half marathon course as last year. The one you runners told us you love so much,” reads Extreme Dream Event’s website. According to Extreme Dream Events, the half marathon runners will be following last year’s route, which “starts at the Ocean City Inlet parking lot, winds it’s way around the pier rides, takes in a nice stretch of the world famous Boardwalk, passes under the arch, over the Route 50 Bridge, ambles down quiet country lanes, takes runners over the scenic Verranzano Bridge where Ocean and Bay views come together and finishes where the wild ponies and sika deer call home Assateague Island.”
Although the bridge is open for vehicles and runners to cross, the bridge is not fully functional as the westbound lanes were closed earlier this week and are anticipated to remain closed through May. Despite the lane closures, Extreme Dream Events is not anticipating any hindrance to the race.
“We do not anticipate any problems with the Route 50 Bridge because all agencies involved are aware of the condition and have planned accordingly,” said Extreme Dream Events this week.
Race organizers will be working with local and state police to maintain safety.
“We anticipate only minor traffic delays very early in the morning and minimal inconvenience to motorists,” Extreme Dream Events said.
Sponsors for this year’s marathon include the Ocean City Factory Outlets, Baja Amusements, Pepsi and the Francis Scott Key, which will host the awards ceremony and post-race party.