Cox Providence Rhode Races: Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K

The Cox Providence Rhode Races brings a new major marathon to the national hotbed of road racing.
*Editor’s Note: This is an event preview for the 2008 Cox Providence Rhode Races and refers to the event details and descriptions from that year.

Register online for the Cox Providence Rhode Races.

Spring marathons are a New England tradition, but up until recently there have been few options for the southern region. Now comes a top-flight race weekend in a world-class city: The Cox Providence Rhode Races, running for the first time on May, 4, 2008. Events will include the Cox Sports Marathon, Willow Tree Half Marathon and the New Balance 5K.

All races will have chip timing and all three courses will be USATF certified. The Cox Sports Marathon will be a 2009 BAA Boston qualifier.

The marathon and half marathon both offer terrific tours of other areas of the city. They run together until the 8.5 mile mark, and then split as the half heads generally southwest toward Weybossett Street, while the marathon course heads north into Pawtucket before returning south and southeast through the City of East Providence before and heading to “Downcity” (downtown) and the finish.

Both the marathon and half marathon will start at the Harborside Boulevard (off Narragansett Boulevard, Route1) Campus of Johnson and Wales. The start of the 5K and all three races finishes will be at the Weybossett Street “Downcity” campus of Johnson and Wales in the Arcade Shops District. All races start at 9:00 a.m.

The start and finish areas alone are tremendously interesting. The Harborside Campus of Johnson and Wales houses the famous Culinary Laboratory building (adjacent to the start) as well as the Culinary Archives and Museum (315 Harborside Boulevard) where visitors can explore the past, present and future of all things related to cooking and baking. The museum’s 25,000 square feet gallery houses numerous exhibits of interest to all.

Near the finish on Weybossett Street you will find the main campus of Johnson and Wales University, including the new TACO building and other interesting university facilities.

The famous Greek Revival Arcade (65 Weybossett) is said to be the oldest enclosed shopping mall in the country dating from 1828. It is now home to specialty stores and restaurants.

Nearby are the historic Round Top Church, Classical Revival from 1810 and the sites of many historic events. Also on Weybossett (#220) is the Providence Performing Arts Center.

These races will be instrumental in raising money for charities as well, including the now famous Leukemia Lymphoma Team in Training, Cox Charities, the National Kidney Foundation and the Trooper Doyle Fund.

The Rode Races will feature corporate teams, as well as teams and divisions for fire departments and police departments. The top three score on teams, plus there will be a Fire and Police Cup Competition, with the top 25 of each scoring in total time for the annual Cup.

Additionally, there will be the “Battle of the Colleges,” Providence being a college town and home to Johnson and Wales University, Brown University, Providence College and Rhode Island College. And there is the innovative “Battle of the Health Clubs/Gyms.”

The Cox Sports Marathon will have a six-hour time limit. The Willow Tree Half Marathon will have a walker-generous 4.5 hour time limit for completion. In addition, there will be television coverage by Cox Communications.

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