It’s off to the races this weekend as thousands of runners are expected to gather for the Fort4Fitness in downtown Fort Wayne. WBOI’s Katy Anderson reports on what participants and spectators can expect this year, and some new additions to the festival.
This year marks the seventh annual Fort4Fitness Festival in downtown Fort Wayne. Hundreds of spectators line the streets along the race routes to cheer on thousands of participants as they complete 4-mile, 10k and half marathon challenges.
Fort4Fitness has grown quickly since its inaugural event. In 2008, the festival had 2600 finishers. That number increased to nearly 8000 in 2013 and executive director Brad Kimmel says they’re on track to surpass last year’s record.
“We quickly have grown now. The Indianapolis does their 500 festival which is the nation’s largest half marathon. And in just a few short years we’ve grown to be the second largest running event in Indiana," Kimmel said.
Back in 2008 Fort4Fitness featured four mile and half-marathon challenges. Since then a 10k race has been added as well as wheelchair divisions for every event. And this year, Fort4Fitness is throwing a couple new races into the mix – the Double Play and Triple Crown challenges.
These are multi-race events where participants can run in two events, or all three races. That’s 23.3 miles.
So could Fort Wayne host a marathon someday? Kimmel says they’ve gotten a lot of requests for one and it’s up for discussion, and Fort4Fitness is eager to hear feedback from the running community about its viability.