Safety preparations underway for Amway River Bank Run

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the biggest races in the state is happening in less than a week in Grand Rapids, and organizers and public safety departments are getting the final plans in place to make sure everyone is safe.

Organizers for the 2024 River Bank Run expect to have 10,000 runners participating, but first, crews have to make sure everything is ready to go.

“I don’t think people realize the amount of equipment that we have in order to make the race work,” Russ Hines, race director, said.

Inside the Amway Headquarters, rows and rows of equipment are ready. Organizers plan to get everything set up on Friday, which includes closing some roads downtown.

“We’ll start closing some streets as early as 3 p.m. on Friday. You know, it takes a long time for us to set up shop and we try to get it torn down as quickly as we can afterwards. But we will impact the traffic flow in downtown Grand Rapids,” Hines said.

Volunteers take on ‘Packing Day’ for River Bank Run

Amway isn’t the only one getting ready for race weekend. The Grand Rapids Fire Department is working to make sure that plans are in place in case something goes wrong.

“Being that this 25K is a national qualifying race, it comes with extra implications for the runners and we want to make sure we have as minimal impact on the race as well. So the morning of we actually call back another fire engine to sit inside On the lower West Side that race district,” Jack Johnson, deputy chief of operations for the Grand Rapids Fire Department, said.

The fire department is working alongside the Grand Rapids Police Department to make sure they are prepared.

“(The) police department will have someone at pretty much every intersection for us. And if we need to traverse you know, they’ll find a safe spot for both the racers and our personnel to do that,” Johnson said.

River Bank Run organizers release race details

With such a large event, organizers say that it really takes everyone coming together to make the race a success, but in the end, they say it’s worth it.

“Everybody’s got a story when they cross that finish line. And to stand there and watch those people and the enthusiasm and the energy and the emotions that they show afterward is really, really something to see,” Hines said.

Hines added that volunteers help make the race run smoothly as well. They currently have around 750 volunteers signed up and are looking for more to help out during the race. You can sign up here.

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