Sports

Run CRANDIC: First Cedar Rapids-to-Iowa City marathon is upon us

Over 3,000 registered to run here Sunday

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City.

OK, I can. A million.

I can’t tell you how many times during those drives I’ve thought “Sometime I should just run down here instead of driving.”

OK, I can. Zero.

However, many people are runners and have surely thought there should be a marathon between the two cities. It’s what’s known in the sports biz as a natural, especially since marathons are 26.2 miles.

Well, Run CRANDIC becomes a reality Sunday at 6:30 a.m., when several hundred runners will leave NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids with a destination of the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium. Others will run a half-marathon from North Liberty to Kinnick, and still more will run a 5K from Coralville to the stadium.

“We originally budgeted for 1,300 runners,” said Josh Schamberger, the president of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’ve got 3,000 right now.

“We have people registered from 30 states and three different countries. I think a lot of people like running in inaugural marathons.”

The deadline for registering, by the way, is Wednesday.

This is one of those great ideas you can’t believe has never already happened.

“It’s no secret I’d been flirting with the idea for more than 10 years with running clubs,” Schamberger said. “It never worked.”

Until now. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, GO Cedar Rapids and the Corridor Running club are also involved. Essential help and cooperation from city and county offices and law-enforcement agencies have helped make this a go.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“We partnered on this to be helpful on a first-time event that has some nice economic impact and also is symbolic of regional cooperation,” said Doug Neumann, the executive director of the Economic Alliance.

It all adds up to a good thing, since the proceeds from the event will be given to the Cedar Rapids Community School District and Iowa City Community School District.

“I anticipate in May I’ll be writing pretty nice checks to both,” said Schamberger.

The route can be viewed in a video at the Run CRANDIC website. State Highway 965 is a considerable portion of the route. It won’t be closed to car traffic Sunday morning, but will be one-lane from about 7 to 11 a.m.

Ultimately, Schamberger said, “we want to show folks in the Corridor this can be done. Not only done, but done very well. This will be a true Corridor event.

“With people from 30 states here, we want to leave the best impression. Cedar Rapids is anxious to show off its NewBo community as we are with Johnson County.”

Next year, the route reverses. The half-marathon and 5K races will be Linn County events.

“We didn’t initially expect this to be the hugely popular event it’s quickly become,” Neumann said. “It’s been fun to be a part of this. People are looking forward to this being a longtime event.

“What will it look like when we turn it around and run south to north next year? There’s such a buzz about this event that we’re already starting to think about that.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids and thought “I should just run this instead.”

OK, I can, and it’s zero. Luckily, other people have more imagination. And stamina.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.