Nearly 10,000 runners, spectators expected in All-American Marathon this weekend

More than 3,000 runners and an estimated 6,000 spectators to descend on Fort Bragg this weekend.
May 4, 2014 8:11:43 AM PDT
Sgt. 1st Class Tito Pineiro will be a pacer on Sunday. At 6 minutes and 45 seconds per mile, the avid, ultra runner will make the inaugural All-American Marathon his 45th marathon.

"A lot of people are flying in from different bases all over the world just to run the Fort Bragg marathon because a lot of roots are from Fort Bragg," he said. "A lot of military service members come through and retire out of Fort Bragg."

Pineiro will be one of more than 3,000 runners and an estimated 6,000 spectators to descend on Fayetteville and Fort Bragg this weekend.  Runners will represent 46 states.

The All-American Marathon and Mike-to-Mike half marathon races will begin in downtown Fayetteville's Festival Park, weave through Historic Haymount , and shoot down the All-American Freeway before runners end on the Main Post Parade Field and the iconic Iron Mike statue. Another 5k race will begin and end on post.

"We cannot find any other marathon or races to this extent that actually take you in-depth into a military community," said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum. "We want our All-American Marathon to become the Army's Marathon, and we think we're perfectly situated on I-95 to help feed that."

The Boston Marathon qualifying event begins at 6:30 a.m., with most major downtown streets closed to drivers. Fayetteville and Fort Bragg security will be beefed up with help from other cities and county forces. Fayetteville Police said Monday that they studied another major marathon event in Charlotte to help prepare for the All-American.

"This is really good for the city and we want it to happen every year without incident," said Captain Lars Paul. "So that's our goal."

Paul said the department has already been in contact with downtown churches regarding Sunday morning traffic. Runners, volunteers and  spectators should be out of downtown by the time service begins.

Runners will have access to Fort Bragg with their bibs, but any spectators who are not ID-card holders will need to check into the Post Visitor Center at the All-American gate. That driver's license and background check can be completed ahead of the race.

Road closures, shuttles, schedules and frequently asked questions can be found here on the Fort Bragg MWR site:

Another event highlight includes an appearance by 2014 Boston Marathon winner, Meb Keflezighi. Keflezighi, the first American to win Boston in over three decades, is a spokesperson for one of  All-American's sponsors, Generation UCAN. He'll be signing autographs during the event Sunday, as well as during Saturday night's  pre-race pasta party.

"He's a very likeable guy and very approachable and humble," said McCollum. "He's got a neat story to tell and we really invite everyone to come on out and hear his story."

McCollum also encouraged the community to cheer on runners across the route.

"Give runners a positive impression about our community," he said.

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