- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 19, 2001

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The nation's capital is getting a spring marathon.

Organizers announced yesterday that the inaugural Washington DC Marathon will be March 24, 2002, roughly halfway between the Los Angeles and Boston marathons on the running calendar.

The event falls on Palm Sunday and coincides with the bloom of the cherry blossoms along the Potomac River.

The date caused concern among city churches during the planning stages, and organizers have altered the course and promised to post alternate traffic routes for those trying to get to services that morning.

Unlike the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall, the Washington DC Marathon will be run entirely within the city limits.

The course includes views of the tourist attractions along the National Mall, Capitol Hill, Anacostia, the southeast waterfront, Foggy Bottom, Embassy Row, Chinatown and other parts of downtown.

"This event comes to the District at a time when we need to attract people here to this great city now more than ever," city councilman Jack Evans said. "This event will prove to be a tremendous boost to the local economy."

Washington hasn't had a spring marathon since the D.C. Marathon, last run in 1983.

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