Commuters are encouraged to avoid course areas for the 10th annual Fort4Fitness Fall Festival, meaning road closures at nearly 50 intersections, including several downtown.
Starting about 4 p.m. today and lasting until about 1 p.m. Saturday, there will be road closures at about 49 different intersections throughout the city from Parkview Field to Foster Park in south Fort Wayne and back. Closed intersections will reopen to traffic as the last of the runners for each race pass through. A list of street and road closures is available at Fort4Fitness.org.
To help pedestrians and runners, Fort4Fitness will have 90 course marshals throughout the course, as well as police officers at key intersections for runner safety and to help traffic flow, Fort4Fitness Executive Director Carrie Reeb said.
“We recommend that people try to avoid the area of the course, but if they can't, if they can make it to a traffic control location, a police officer will have them wait until there's a clear path to cross and they will release cars to go through,” Reeb said.
To accurately track the runners in each race, a veritable army of trained amateur ham radio operators will be on hand throughout the courses to relay information back to race officials.
“Ham radio operators continue to be an invaluable service supporting Fort4Fitness' safety efforts on the course on race day,” Reeb said. “They are able to run a self-sufficient operation assisting us in tracking runners along the four race routes to help us determine lead and back of pack participants, which requires a lot of coordination and communication on their end. It would be very difficult to adequately track the participants without the hams present and for that we thank them for their dedication to our races.”
Ham radio operators will also transmit information relating to runner safety, which includes information about traffic issues, information concerning about unusual or suspicious activity and requests for emergency services.
“Working with the Fort4Fitness event is important to us on several fronts,” said Jim Moehring, head of the Allen County chapter of the national Amateur Radio Emergency Service. “It allows us to use our great hobby to give back to the community by providing an extra layer of safety to the runners. It allows us to practice our emergency communication skills in a low-stress environment, and finally, allows us to ensure our equipment is in good working order and ready to deploy in an emergency.”
For commuters trying to avoid the course altogether, Reeb said no city streets east of Calhoun Street will be blocked to this weekend. Northbound motorists trying to access downtown will be able to use Lafayette Street or Broadway starting at Rudisill Boulevard.
Fort Wayne Police spokesman Michael Joyner confirmed “an appropriate number” of officers will be on hand for the event. For those who might need to commute on race day, Joyner said preparation is key.
“If you need to travel and you live within the event route, it would be wise to relocate your vehicle so not to be in a situation where you must wait until it's safe for the participants to move your car,” Joyner said. “It's all about preparation. Everyone knows about the race, now it's up to you to prepare in advance for any inconvenience it might bring.”
Spectators looking for a place to watch the race may do so along the route, but Reeb said the start area north of Parkview Field is a great place for those who want to want to watch the beginning. Additionally, Reeb said sections of the stands inside the ballpark will be open for spectators who want to watch the finish line.
Spectators can sign up for runner tracking at fort4fitness.org/fall-festival/race-day/runner-tracking-and-results.
Bass from Hoagland to Fairfield: Closed from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Brackenridge from Ewing to Webster: Closed from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Ewing from Baker to Jefferson: Closed from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday
Baker from Calhoun to Harrison: Restricted traffic to CitiLink
Baker from Ewing to Harrison: Closed from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Beechwood from South Wayne to Fairfield: Closed from 7:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m.
Brackenridge from Harrison to Webster: Closed from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Calhoun from West Wallace to Williams: Closed from 6:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Calhoun from Williams to Packard: Closed from 6:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Calhoun from Packard to Rudisill: Closed from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Calhoun from Rudisill to West Pettit: Closed from 7 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Calhoun from Pettit to Paulding: Closed from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Calhoun from Paulding to Hoover: Closed from 7:50 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Calhoun from Hoover to Don Ross Golf Course to Tillman: Golf course is open, but traffic will be diverted to northbound lanes from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Crestwood from Westover to Sherwood Terrace: Closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Ewing from Baker to Jefferson: Closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fairfield from Tillman to Southfair Court: 8:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Fairfield northbound from Taylor to Bass: Closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Foster Park: Closed to traffic from 8:20 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Hartman from Old Mill to Westover: Closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Harrison from Douglas to Baker: Closed from 10 a.m. today to 12:30 p.m.
Harrison from Baker to Wallace: Closed from 6:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Hoagland from Pettit to Lenox: Closed from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Hoagland from Pontiac to Williams: Closed from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Hoagland from Williams to Bass: Closed from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Indiana from Oakdale to Packard: Closed 7:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m.
Indiana from Packard to Kinnaird: Closed from 7:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m.
Kinnaird from Indiana to South Wayne: Closed from 7:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m.
Lexington from Old Mill to Hartman: Closed fro 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Masterson: Closed at Webster from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Oakdale from South Wayne to Indiana: Closed from 7:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m.
Old Mill from West Fairfax to Old Farm Circle: Closed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Old Farm Circle from Old Mill to South Wayne: Closed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Packard from Calhoun to Indiana: Closed from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Pettit from Stratford to Tacoma: Closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Pettit: Closed at South Wayne from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Pontiac from Fairfield to Hoagland: Closed from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sherwood Terrace from Hartman to Stratford: Closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
South Wayne from Old Farm Circle to Pettit: Closed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
South Wayne from Pettit to Pasadena: Closed from 7:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
South Wayne from Pettit to Rudisill: Closed from 7:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
South Wayne from Rudisill to Oakdale: Closed fro 7:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
South Wayne from Kinnaird to Beechwood: 7:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m.
Tacoma from Pettit to West Fairfax: Closed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Tillman from Calhoun to Lower Huntington/Fairfield: Road is open but restricted to eastbound lanes from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Wallace from Harrison to Calhoun: Closed from 6:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
West Pettit from Calhoun to South Wayne: Closed from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Westover from Hartman to Crestwood: Closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
West Fairfax from Tacoma to Old Mill: Closed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.