Thater Memorial Races return with new location

By Perry Russom
By Anna Norris

August 20, 2014 Updated Aug 22, 2014 at 6:20 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than 5,000 people are expected to be in downtown Binghamton this weekend for the Chris Thater Memorial Races.

Preparation were well underway Friday morning, with barricades set up on around Court Street.

This year's races are being held downtown, something that hasn't happened in 30 years.

Tents have been set up in the downtown area for this weekend as well as a stage.

The races, sponsored by Broome County STOP-DWI, are in memory of Chris Thater who was killed by a drunk driver more than 30 years ago.

It's the first time the races will have runners and bikers gliding through the downtown streets since the late 80s.

"It was a great location at Rec Park," said Chris Marion, program coordinator for Broome County STOP-DWI. "What we wanted to do was bring in more of the general public. We always did very well with the athletes and their friends and family. We wanted to bring in more people who weren't necessarily fans of cycling."

There are plenty of new events this year including a CrossFit competition and a health and wellness expo.

An estimated 1,200 athletes are expected to be downtown this weekend with 5,000 spectators.