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WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps Historic Half is a little more historic this year, marking its 10th year with the addition of a multi-run event through Fredericksburg, Virginia, this Sunday.
In case running a half marathon isn’t enough, about 600 people will participate in the “Devil Dog Double” — an 18.1-mile course that lets participants run the five-mile Semper 5ive, followed immediately by the 13.1-mile Historic Half on the morning of May 21.
The challenge is a first in the Historic Half’s 10 years, said Marine Corps Marathon spokeswoman Tami Faram.
“We thought it would be a lot of fun to introduce something during the 10th anniversary of the Marine Corps Historic Half, so the ‘Devil Dog’ just made a lot of sense and it’s a lot of fun,” Faram said of the challenge, whose moniker is a motivational nickname for a U.S. Marine.
Devil Dog finishers will take home some serious hardware, too: three medals.
“The concept of doing the ‘Devil Dog Double’ was really to give an opportunity to those runners who are looking for something more exotic and more challenging,” said race director Rick Nealis.
But have no fear, Fredericksburg-area drivers — added mileage doesn’t mean roads will be closed longer, Faram said.
Road closures begin at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, and will be rolling road closures, which open after runners pass through.
Registration for the Devil Dog Double, Semper 5ive and Historic Half races is open up through Saturday. More than 8,000 people are expected to run the course that features historic landmarks in and around Fredericksburg.
Among the runners will be 135 in the “Iron Mile Company,” participants who have raced in the half marathon since it began in 2008.
“These are runners who have really embraced the race and have made it their own and show that each year we do something different, something exciting for them,” Nealis said.
Roads will close starting at 5:30 a.m. Sunday near the Marine Corps Historic Half start and finish on Carl D. Silver Parkway from Fall Hill Avenue to the Expo Center.
Also starting 5:30 a.m., Fall Hill Avenue will be closed from Pelham Street to Canal Street, to include both Maury and Green streets, for the start of the Devil Dog Double and Semper 5ive.
The following roads are closing at 6:30 a.m. Sunday:
Semper 5ive/Devil Dog Double
Parking for Semper 5ive and Devil Dog Double participants will be near the start of their event, located at the intersection of Fall Hill Avenue and Germania Street.
Free shuttles services will be available post-event for the Semper 5ive and Devil Dog Double finishers. After the race, runners can take the free shuttle buses from the Central Park Wal-Mart to return to their vehicles. Shuttles will operate until 11 a.m.
Historic Half marathon participants will park in lots located at Fredericksburg’s Central Park, near the Historic Half start and finish.
Spectators can travel to viewing locations on shuttles, which will operate from 7:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. The shuttles will take spectators from Wal-Mart to Hurkamp Park, near Mile 7.5 of the 13.1-mile Historic Half course.
Tracking runners with technology
The Historic Half has an updated app that brings race information and runner tracking to your fingertips. Download the app to view course maps, see the event schedules, see expo information and track runners.
“A lot of good information for spectators as well as runners,” Faram said.
All are invited to attend the two-day Healthy Lifestyle Expo at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center, 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway.
“We will have a number of exhibitors and vendors; the latest in running gear and exercise equipment,” Faram said. “It’s a great place to bring the family.”
The event will feature speakers throughout the weekend, too.
The expo is Friday from noon until 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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