Frederick Running Festival returns this weekend

Thousands of runners will take to the streets of Frederick Sunday morning in the 22nd annual Frederick Running Festival half-marathon.

The city's police department is advising drivers to expect significant delays Sunday morning as the event's participants wind through much of the city.

The race will begin and end at the Frederick Fairgrounds on East Patrick Street. The course will move down East Street to Monocacy Boulevard, around Harry Grove Stadium and up Market Street to 6th Street, around Baker Park and Hood College, back to North Market Street and 16th Street to Schifferstadt and Monocacy boulevards, and back to the Fairgrounds.

“This is a beautiful course by any measure,” Lee Corrigan of the event's organizer, Corrigan Sports Enterprises, said at a press event Wednesday.

The Fairgrounds is a great and convenient venue for the runners, he said.

Corrigan said the event requires coordination between his company, the city, and the Frederick Police Department to arrange.

“It truly takes a team of people” to put the event on, he said.

A rolling road closure will begin at 6 a.m. Sunday at East Patrick and Franklin streets, Frederick Police Department spokeswoman Samantha Long said in an email Wednesday.

Once all runners have passed an intersection and officers decide it is safe, the intersection will be reopened.

When people and businesses consider coming to Frederick, quality of life events such as the Running Festival are one of the factors they look at, said Richard Griffin, economic development director for the city of Frederick.

The race brings about 4,500 runners, their families, and spectators to the city each year, where they shop, dine, and stay overnight, he said.

“This is huge,” Griffin said.

The event brings in about $3.5 million each year for Frederick and the surrounding area, Corrigan said.

Robert Creese of Mount Airy won last year's race with a time of 1:09:13, while Claire Heasman — a United Kingdom native who was living in Frederick — was the top female finisher with a time of 1:23:41.

Neither's name was among the registered runners for this year's race as of Wednesday, although some runners are registered anonymously.

Registration is open until noon on Saturday, Amanda Corrigan of Corrigan Sports Enterprises wrote in an email Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, 2,949 runners had registered for the half-marathon, 1,390 for a 5K race on Saturday, and 112 for a team relay event Saturday, Corrigan wrote.

There were 373 people signed up to run both the 5K and the half-marathon, known as the “Nut Job Challenge.”

Wednesday's event featured donations of $2,000 to the Frederick Rescue Mission, and $5,000 to Community Living, an organization that works with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Sunday's race will also feature three “charity chasers,” who will start in the rear of the runner's pack. For each runner they pass, Corrigan Sports Enterprises will donate $2 to the organization.

The organizations are:

* Special Olympics, which provides athletic opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities

* What Would Stew Dew, founded in memory of former Frederick police officer Andrew "Stew" Alcorn IV, who died in 2021. The fund supports causes including helping first responders and advocating for children

* Athetes Serving Athletes, which connects runners with people with limited mobility to compete in running events.