SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Thousands of people will “run for conservation” as part of the 10th annual Bass Pro Shops Expo and Marathon Weekend. Drivers in parts of Springfield will find their way blocked or delayed on Sunday morning.
The activities kick off with a free health and wellness expo on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5. The expo is open to the public and features more than 50 vendors.
Marathon Weekend races, ranging from a full marathon to the News-Leader 5K, begin and end at Bass Pro Shops' Outdoor World store on Campbell Avenue at Sunshine Street.
“We’re expecting more than 9,000 people to visit the expo and take part in the race events this year,” said Martin Mac Donald, chairman of the Fitness Series and Bass Pro Shops director of conservation. “Between the marathon, the half marathon, the marathon relay and the 5K, runners will cover more than 42 miles in Springfield.”
Marathon Weekend is attracting participants from 42 states ranging in age from 8 to 91. More than 1,000 volunteers will help the event run smoothly.
The Neighborhood Challenge returns this year. It features 10 neighborhood associations cheering on runners and providing water and nutrition during the event. Each participating neighborhood has a different theme including Route 66, 1950s, fishing, golfing and outdoor life in the Ozarks.
The weekend races represent the finale of the 2016 Bass Pro Shops Fitness Series, an ongoing festival of outdoor events that began in April. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Fitness Series, which began when various local races came together under a unified umbrella. Bass Pro Shops continues to strongly support and organize the series as part of the company’s commitment to conservation and community initiatives.
The Bass Pro Shops Fitness Series celebrates health and wellness, outdoor adventure and wildlife conservation in the beauty of the Ozarks with programs designed to offer activities for people of all ages, backgrounds, fitness levels and areas of interest. Ozark Greenways, Big Brothers & Big Sisters and Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium share proceeds from the events.
Running events begin on Sunday, Nov. 6. Participants can choose from the following events:
• Bass Pro Shops Conservation Marathon – 7 a.m.
• Cohick Half Marathon – 7 a.m.
• Mercy Sunshine Marathon Relay – 7 a.m.
• News-Leader 5K – 7:15 a.m.
Packet pick-up and late registration will take place in the White River Conference Center during the following times:
• Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Sunday, 6 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. 5K ONLY; no other race will be allowed to
pick up packets on Sunday.
Onsite parking will be offered in and around Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World including in front of the main entrance off Campbell and to the south in the Cherokee parking lot. Additional parking is available in the far west parking lot by the Bank of America. Campbell will be blocked so spectators can see the racing action at the starting line and finish line, which will be near Bass Pro Shops and the White River Conference Center.