NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — Sunday marks not only St. Patrick’s Day, but also the 45th annual New Bedford Half Marathon.

Considering the race is put on by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, it couldn’t be more perfect.

More than 2,000 runners are expected to start the race at 11 a.m., and the race continues to be one of the crown jewels (a nice big emerald, to be exact) of the City of New Bedford.

WFHN-FM/FUN 107 logo
Get our free mobile app

Here’s what you need to know heading into the 2024 New Bedford Half Marathon:

History Could Be Made

If Matt McDonald of Cambridge returns to New Bedford on Sunday, he could be poised to become the race’s first three-peat winner after coming in first in 2022 (1:04:17) and 2023 (1:04:12).

Last year, his fiancée Maegan Krifchin won the women’s race with a time of 1:12:43.

The Times to Know If You’re a Runner

The men’s record was set by Geoff Smith in 1985 at 1:01:58.

The women’s record was set by Norway’s Ingrid Kristiansen in 1985 with a time of 1:08:32 – a world record at the time.

The Times to Know If You’re Not a Runner

Traffic restrictions begin around the Half Marathon course at about 10 a.m. and will remain in place until about 2 p.m.

“Police encourage residents who live in the South End, especially those who live on the peninsula, to plan to leave for any necessary travel before 10 a.m. and return after 1:30 p.m.,” the City said in a release.

The Actual Half Marathon Course Itself

The New Bedford Half Marathon course runs 13.1 miles, beginning and ending on Pleasant Street right next to City Hall. From there, runners head down Purchase Street to Nauset Street, then up to Hathaway Road (with the first of two major hills), turning down Rockdale Avenue and heading all the way down and around the South End peninsula before heading up County Road and back to City Hall for the finish.

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

Safety First

There will be nearly 125 New Bedford Police officers patrolling the course, as well as ambulances staffed by New Bedford Emergency Medical Services stationed throughout the city.

Also, backpacks, suitcases and rolling bags will not be permitted near the start/finish line. This includes any bags for runners, so keep them in the car.

Where to Park

Parking is not permitted along the race route, and “No Parking” signs will be posted. Free parking will be available in the Elm Street and Zeiterion parking garages downtown.

Public Transportation Will Have Delays

Now that the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority is offering Sunday bus service, there will be some changes to that service on race day. The downtown terminal will be closed with all routes detoured to MacArthur Drive and Union Street. There will also be delays due to road closures, and several routes will be suspended from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

READ MORE: SRTA Now Offering Sunday Bus Service in New Bedford

Alternative Routes to Get to St. Luke’s Hospital

Because St. Luke’s is in the middle of the race course, two alternative routes have been created for those who need to get there: Interstate 195 eastbound to the Penniman Street exit to County to Parker to Cottage Streets, or 195 Westbound to Downtown exit to Route 18 southbound to the Route 6 exit (downtown) to Mill Street to Cottage Street.

New Bedford's Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections

Considering the distracted world in which we live, driving anywhere is a gamble. Certain hot spots in New Bedford tend to be riskier than others. Here are the 10 most dangerous intersections in the city.

Gallery Credit: Michael Rock

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Move to New Bedford

Why would anyone want to move to New Bedford when they'd have to deal with all of these things?

Gallery Credit: Barry Richard

Greater New Bedford's Highest-Rated Restaurants According to Yelp Users

Everyone has opinions on local food. Sometimes those opinions will take you right to the top on Yelp. Here are the 10 highest-rated restaurants in (and around) New Bedford, according to Yelp users.

More From WFHN-FM/FUN 107