March 19 is one of the most exciting days on New Bedford’s busy calendar. The 40th annual half marathon, hosted by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the City of New Bedford, kicks off downtown at 11 a.m.
To maintain the race’s reputation as one of the safest in New England, more than 120 police officers will patrol the course and ambulances staffed by New Bedford Emergency Medical Services will be stationed throughout the city.
Runners and spectators are asked not to bring bags to the course as backpacks, suitcases and rolling bags will not be permitted near the start/finish area. Spectators and runners are asked to report any suspicious activity to one of the many police officers available throughout the course leading up to, during, and after the race.
Parking on the race course will not be permitted and “no parking” signs will be posted along the route to warn motorists. In addition, the course is closed to vehicular traffic and residents are advised to plan ahead as traffic will be restricted from approximately 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. New Bedford Police encourage residents who live in the south end of the city, especially those who live on the peninsula, to plan to leave before 10:30 a.m. and return after 1:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to avoid Route 18 southbound from Union Street south while the race is underway
People who may be visiting a patient at St. Luke’s Hospital or who need access to the inner perimeter for other reasons should consider the following routes: Rt. 195 East bound to Penniman Street exit to County to Parker to Cottage St. or Rt. 195 Westbound to Downtown Exit to Rt. 18 Southbound to Rt. 6 exit (Downtown) to Mill Street to Cottage Street.
Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced that the city will offer complimentary parking at the Elm Street and Zeiterion garages and the Whale’s Tooth parking lot. Shuttle service from Whale’s Tooth lot to the YMCA will be provided between 8 and 10:30 a.m. and after the race between 12:45 and 2 p.m.
For more information, visit the race Web site at newbedfordhalfmarathon.com.