New location, times for the Chris Thater Memorial Races

By Kelly McCarthy

New location, times for the Chris Thater Memorial Races

February 25, 2014 Updated Feb 25, 2014 at 7:48 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Chris Thater Memorial races are getting a complete makeover. Everything from the location to the time of the races will be new this year. The races will be held August 23 -24, 2014.

The race courses are moving downtown.

The cycling course will start at the intersection of Court and State street.

The new loop will be a little bit shorter than the previous route at Recreation Park.

All of the Thater Memorial Races were held at Recreation park for the past 25 years.

Broome County's STOP DWI Coordinator hopes this change will focus more on the awareness to the dangers of impaired driving especially with pedestrians and cyclists.

"Our goal in moving this event downtown," said STOP-DWI Coordinator Chris Marion, "It is to bring that message to the younger audience that make up a majority of the DWI crashes and fatalities."

Along with the cycling races, the Thater Memorial 5k event will have a new course this year. It will be starting and finishing on Court Street near Boscov's but following a new route that's never been used before.

Another big change for the athletes and the spectators is that most of the races will be held at night.

They're moving to a twilight format which means the main cycling events and the 5k race will start on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 6 pm.

Coordinators are expecting more than 1,200 athletes and up to 5,000 spectators for the races. At the Rec Park location, many of the people in attendance were only the athletes and event participants.

"What we want to do, by bringing this event downtown," Marion said, "Is increase the expose to not only the event but our message. Putting it right in the center of the city people are going to have no choice but to see it."

Christopher Thater was a 23 year-old cyclist who was killed by a drunk driver in 1983. This August marks the 31st year of the event.

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