River City Marathon prep for organizers and churches

By Audrey Williams

River City Marathon prep for organizers and churches

May 16, 2013 Updated May 16, 2013 at 9:16 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Organizers are gearing up for the first ever River City Marathon this Sunday to benefit St. Jude Runs. With more than 2,000 participants, it could cause some headaches for drivers and church-goers in the downtown area.

There are 5 events Sunday a full marathon, a marathon relay, a 25K, a 5K and a kid's 1.2 mile race. The first events kick off at 7 am outside of Caterpillar headquarters on Adams Street.

The course winds through many parts of Peoria and Peoria Heights, before ending on Water Street along Peoria's Riverfront. A majority of Adams, Jefferson and Main Street will be closed, but organizers are trying to keep traffic moving as smooth as possible.

"90% of this course is going to be with a coned lane with runners on one side or the other. There is going to be the opportunity for cross traffic, perpendicular traffic throughout almost all of this course," said Adam White, Race Co-Director.

The course also goes by about 20 churches.

White said, "There were very few churches that were asked at all to have to adjust any of their service schedules. There was a couple because of where they sit."

Some are trying to be flexible, while others say they can't.

Pastor Eric Swanson with the First United Methodist Church on Perry Avenue said they are making the best of it.

"Since the marathon is going to be going on right in front of us we're going to have people who are going to man a water station that we dedicated ourselves to staffing for this race and we're also going to try to have our music playing so people can hear what kind of worship we have," said Pastor Swanson.

Sacred Heart located on Fulton Street in downtown Peoria has canceled services. Church officials say with all the roads around the church being closed there was just no way they could conduct services. One church official said off-camera that it could take a toll financially.

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