Runners and nonrunners alike should prepare themselves for a weekend full of One City Marathon activities focused on health ... with a little beer on the side.
Kicking things off Friday is the Health and Wellness Expo at the Denbigh Community Center, which moved from the City Center Marriott last year in an effort to involve more of the community in race activities. The center opened in 2013.
"It allowed us to expose the community to the center," said Telly Whitfield, project manager for the marathon. "The idea of being the One City Marathon, we wanted to provide exposure and opportunities throughout the city. To have 5,000 to 6,000 people to come through the Denbigh Community Center on Friday and Saturday was a plus."
The two-day expo is free and open to the public and is scheduled for noon to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
About 40 vendors — many with a focus on wellness, nutrition and exercise — will be at the expo. Also on display at the community center will be art depicting what a healthy lifestyle means, created by Newport News students.
On the other end of the city will be more kid-centric activities. The Family Fit and Fun Day will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Brook's Crossing, outside of Jim's Local Market. It previously was held at Lincoln Park.
"It gives us a little more exposure and gives some usable space to do some entertainment," Whitfield said. "We have a natural walking path that we're going to use as well."
On Saturday night, the runners and general public can load up on carbs in preparation for the big morning. The pasta dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the City Center Marriott with special guest LaTasha Colander Clark.
Colander Clark, who was born in Portsmouth, won a gold medal for the 4x400 relay in the Sydney Olympic Games. In 2014, she was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
"We're excited for her to be our keynote speaker," Whitfield said. "She has a great story to talk about the connection between athletic competition and the importance of nutrition."
One City, One Celebration
The marathon's finish line will be a welcome site for runners with plenty of food trucks and beer flowing.
Tradition Brewing Company has created a beer specifically for the marathon, with runners in mind. The One City Gose is brewed with some malt and brine water to give it carbohydrates and potassium. Plus, it has a relatively low alcohol by volume of 3.5 percent.
It's perfect for recovering from a race, according to Tradition brewmaster Dan Powell. He first discovered the gose style while in Massachusetts for the Boston Marathon.
"We took that idea and made it our own. We changed the saltwater ratio a little bit," he said. "The brine water really comes through so it has a bit of saltiness to it."
Making the beer, which will be available at Tradition while supplies last, was a special moment for Powell.
"I've been a runner pretty much my entire life," he said. "Opening the brewery was pretty cool, but the icing on the cake is being allowed and welcomed to brew a beer for our city's marathon."
Accompanying the beer will be seven food trucks to choose from including Stuft, Sinful Treats and Capt'n Crabby. Marathon, relay and 8K participants receive a complimentary "runner's item" for food from one truck and two beers.
Other entertainment at One City is a children's area, a runner relaxation area and live music courtesy of DJ Moby D, R&B/jazz group RaJazz and the NO BS! Brass Band.
Black can be reached by phone at 757-247-4607.
One City Marathon weather update
One City Marathon organizers will announce any scheduling changes or cancellations for this weekend's events Friday.
The weekend weather poses a potential threat to the third annual marathon in Newport News, though the forecast Wednesday afternoon offered a brighter outlook than earlier predictions. Potential snow on race day gave way to mostly cloudy skies and a high of 41 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Marathon organizers from the city of Newport News and race production company Flat-Out Events are monitoring the weather forecasts. They will decide Friday whether the marathon and related events will go on as scheduled.
For the latest updates, check Facebook.com/OneCityMarathon.
One City Marathon
WHAT: Marathon, marathon relay, Maritime 8K race and Nautical Mile fun run.
WHEN: 7 a.m. start time March 12 for the marathon and marathon relay; 7:30 a.m. start for Maritime 8K; 10 a.m. start for the Nautical Mile.
WHERE: Marathon route starts at Newport News Park and heads south along Warwick Boulevard and through side neighborhoods, passes through Christopher Newport University, the Mariners' Museum Park, Hilton Village, Huntington Park and downtown, and ends at Victory Landing Park.
PARKING: More than 4,000 parking spaces reserved downtown. Check onecitymarathon.com for more information.
Friday: One City Health & Wellness Expo 12-7 p.m. at Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News.
Saturday: One City Health & Wellness Expo at Denbigh Community Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Family Fit & Fun Day at Brooks Crossing, noon-3 p.m.; Pre-Race Pasta Dinner at the Marriott at City Center, 6 p.m.
Sunday: One City One Celebration at Victory Landing Park, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.