Raleigh Rock 'n' Roll Marathon re-routed after church concerns

Church leaders not happy the racecourse would take runners through downtown on Palm Sunday
January 7, 2014 3:16:59 PM PST
The Raleigh City Council approved an alternate route Tuesday for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon after some church leaders expressed concern about the original racecourse planned for Palm Sunday.

Click here for new course map (.pdf)

Click here for old course map (.pdf)

Race organizers admitted to ABC11 that initially they didn't realize the Sunday they had picked was one of the more important Sunday's on the Christian calendar.

But, they told members of the city council that they have spoken with the leaders of most of the downtown churches and altered the race route in attempt to make sure all worshippers could get to Palm Sunday services.

With that assurance, members of the city council voted to approve the new route.

One church leader - who politely complained when the event was announced last year - said he hopes the altered route will address the concerns of downtown churches, but he won't hesitate to speak up if it doesn't.

"I think we are starting to work together to make this an event that will help the City of Raleigh but will also be one where the churches will not be affected as originally we thought they would be," said Rev. Robert Sawyer of Church of the Good Shepherd.

Organizers of the Rock 'n' Roll marathon - which is coming to Raleigh for the first time - still have more hoops to jump through.

City council wants to hear the final plans for where bands that play during the marathon will be placed. Council members say they want to make sure the music isn't a disruption to church services or to residential areas.

Race organizers say they are well aware that loud bands are most appropriate in places like Fayetteville Street and acoustic acts better for areas near churches and homes.

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