Rocket City Marathon prepared for Mother Nature

Event dealing with potential Severe Weather Saturday
Marathon competitor runs by Huntsville's Space and Rocket Center during Rocket City Marathon....
Marathon competitor runs by Huntsville's Space and Rocket Center during Rocket City Marathon. The event the first marathon in the state of Alabama.(WAFF)
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:08 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A North Alabama staple in throughout the community prepared to deal with anything mother nature brings Saturday in Downtown Huntsville. The annual running of the Rocket City Marathon may deal with the threat of severe weather in area. If the race is delayed, the party will begin early.

“We’re gonna have a big party,” Race Director Dwayne Debardelaben said leading up to the race. “Inside the finish area we have some professional announcers that are super high energy. Everyone will be able to come in because the finish line is indoors they’ll be able to get their picture taken by our photographer at the finish line with their finisher medal and their finisher gear. All the pictures are free for all the runners. They’ll be able to go into the food area and get food and enjoy it out and basically we’ll just always have a big party.”

Dwayne and his wife Dana decided to give this year’s race a unique theme.

“We decided to write a comic book,” Debardelaben added. “It’s an old 1950′s style sci-fi comic book to pay homage to all the old stories that inspired rocket scientists back in the 50′s and 60′s.”

Over 3,000 runners expected Saturday, with over 25 states represented. The 2020 event cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The runners are dying to get out there and run, Huntsville Track Club Board Member Dink Taylor said. “Runners are kind of creatures of habit, they get up and train every day. And a lot of them train for the same races every year, so it was kind of a void not having the marathon last year.”

Madison native and avid runner Josh Whitehead won the marathon back in 2013. Last year Whitehead was in a felony hit and run bicycle incident.

“The fact I’m running is a miracle,” Whitehead said. “The fact I’m back in pretty good shape and hoping to be able to compete is a step even more.”

The Rocket City Marathon begins at 7AM on Church Street in Downtown Huntsville.

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