Half-marathon costly to St. Boniface

When the Louisville Sports Commission Half-Marathon was held on the morning of Nov. 10 — a Sunday — several streets downtown were closed as they always are for a running, walking or cycling event.

But most times those events are held on a Saturday, though commission executive director Karl Schmitt noted that some of the largest (running) races in the nation are held on Sundays.

Nevertheless, this particular Sunday necessitated the closing of several downtown streets — including Liberty Street which runs in front of St. Boniface Church. That situation, and some limited access along other streets near the church, proved to be a “disaster as far as St. Boniface Church is concerned,” said Deacon Brian Karley, the pastoral administrator for the parish.

He said attendance at the church’s two Masses was cut in half as a result of the traffic and the access difficulties. And he noticed that the reduced attendance had the same effect on the Nov. 10 collections — they were reduced by half, which meant the collection was about $2,000 below normal.

“We’re a small parish,” Deacon Karley said in an interview with The Record.  “We can’t have things like that happening very often if we want to survive.”

For his part, Schmitt is sympathetic.

“As an organization we like to plan, communicate, execute and review,” he said. “Based on feedback from runners, from St. Boniface Church and from others, Sunday half-marathon races in that neighborhood aren’t likely to happen again.”

Nearly 2,000 runners took part in the third annual Louisville Sports Commission Half-Marathon. The 13.1 mile course ran not only down Liberty St. and through parts of downtown but wound its way through historic Cave Hill Cemetery.

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