Too Many Running Events in Bay County?

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Bay County Commissioners voiced their concerns over the number of marathons and other races which can disrupt traffic and business in some areas.

TDC President Dan Rowe was requesting road closures during Tuesday's commission meeting for the upcoming Biggest Loser Half Marathon on December 30th, when commissioners voiced concerns.

"Every organization has a race to raise money. Every organization starts at Aaron Bessant Park and running to the west down Front Beach Road. If you're fortunate or unfortunate enough to live on that side of Pier Park, you suffer for it every time," said Commissioner Mike Thomas.

Thomas says his business is often times blocked by heavy foot traffic during these races which he says occur often.

"It's selfish, I know, but it's true for everyone on the west end."

Several other commissioners agreed.

"You've got a thousand runners and escort vehicles and that sort of thing. It's quite a crowd and that'll disrupt business," said Commissioner Guy Tunnell.

"We've just got too many of these. It just disrupts the traffic on too many occasions throughout the year," said Commissioner George Gainer.

Commissioners say they're not against the causes the races are benefiting. They even granted Rowe's request, but they say they want changes for future races.

"I like to ride 4 wheelers, but I don't think you want me to bring 1,000 of my best friends and ride them by your house at 7 or 8 o'clock in the morning. We have to have consideration for each other and I think you should share this wealth with some other area," said Thomas.

Commissioners asked the TDC to consider alternating the routes for marathons, and to consider "Gail's Trails" as a race route.

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