Before Army Marathon runners can take their marks March 2, cities along the route need to agree to several road closures.
Harker Heights City Council members voted Tuesday to approve the closure of U.S. Highway 190 from the western city limits to the intersection of Farm-to-Market 3219 and from FM 3219 to FM 439 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 2.
“The event went off without a hitch last year,” said Jerry Bark, director of Heights Parks and Recreation.
Ed Bandas, race director, lauded the city’s police and fire departments for their efforts in making the race safe for runners.
In its second year, the 2014 Army Marathon will feature a half marathon and 5K. The 26.2 mile race begins at 7 a.m. at the Killeen Convention Center and heads north on S.W. Young Drive through Killeen.
The closing miles of the route continue on FM 2305 to Hilliard Road and then north on Hilliard Road to the finish line just south of Highway 36. Hilliard Road is the site of the developing Temple Bioscience Center and home to the Army Marathon finish line and post-race festival.
According to the race’s official website, the point-to-point route is generally rolling with a net downhill, with a net elevation loss of 273 feet or approximately 10.5 feet per mile. The highest point on the course comes at approximately 1.70 miles into the route, near the intersection of S.W. Young and Zephyr roads.
The lowest point on the course comes at approximately mile 16.70 on FM 439 between Sparta Road and the Belton Lake Dam.
Nineteen water stations will be located throughout the course, about every 1 to 1½ miles. Each water stop will feature an electrolyte replacement drink followed by water stops and Scott & White medical personnel. Each water stop will also offer portable rest rooms.
Registration is open and will remain open until capacity has been reached. Bandas said they anticipate hosting a maximum of 1,000 marathoners, 2,000 half-marathoners, and 1,000 5K runners. Last year’s event had 611 participants and raised $25,000 for several military affiliated charities.