The City of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg are holding the inaugural All-American Marathon, Mike-to-Mike Half Marathon and the All-American 5K on May 4.

These races promise to grow into huge events that attract runners from throughout the world.

“We really believe that this marathon will grow into something very special.  Fayetteville and Fort Bragg offer a uniquely special race environment that I believe will really catch on with our regional and national running communities.  In time, we will see these races pull in tens of thousands of runners.”

This year runners have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and earn the right to say that they ran in the first one,” said Col. Jeffrey M. Sanborn, Fort Bragg Garrison commander.

“Both of those races will eventually attract runners from around the world and repeatedly sell out.

“Similar military marathons, such as the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. and the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, attract up to 30,000 runners and repeatedly sell out.  The Marine Corps marathon sold out in less than three hours.

“We, as a community, have one chance to impress the running world in order to get them to return to these races every year,” said Ted Voorhees, Fayetteville’s city manager.  “We need to come together as a whole community to accomplish this.

“One of the best ways we can accomplish this is to volunteer to help the race or to cheer on the runners as they pass through our community,” added Voorhees.  “We need to make the runners feel welcomed and appreciated,” he said.

“We are open to talk to any civic organization, business, school, religious group or veterans’ organizations about how they can get involved in the race,” said Rachel Quesada, race manager for Fort Bragg.  “We need the community’s backing and involvement to make this a successful race.”

As of Jan. 16, more than 400 runners have registered to run.

“At this point in our registration process, this is where we expected to be,” said Quesada.  “The contractor we are working with told us this is typical for an inaugural race and that we can expect the majority of runners to register in the final month before the race.”

The marathon and half marathon will start at Festival Park, wind through downtown Fayetteville, between the North Carolina Veterans Park and the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, up Hay Street and down Morganton Road to the All-American Expressway and onto Fort Bragg.

The full and half marathons will branch off from each other at the Gruber Road overpass but both will end at the Main Post Parade Field.

The 5K race will start and end at the Main Post Parade Field.

“We are in the process of arranging to have military displays along the route on post and on the parade field,” said Sanborn. “We want this to become not only a community event,  but a Family event too.”

To register or for more information, go to http://www.fortbraggmwr.com/allamericanmarathon/.