St. Louis caps number of run/walk events in downtown

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A few more finish lines, race routes, and closed city streets then you remember from your St. Louis childhood? It’s true; and it’s Ann Chance’s job to keep all those races and events in order.

“Right now we are not accepting any new walks or runs,” says Ann Chance, Special Events Program Executive Director City of St. Louis. “That does not mean that you cannot go to a park or another neighborhood. But we’re not doing anymore in downtown; at least not at this point.”

After an increase in marathons, fun runs, and walks in downtown, city leaders tried to find a civic balance for residents with closed streets. This is why a cap on the number of runs and/or walks in downtown was started.

“We have a standard—more or less—route that we use that involves Market, Compton, Olive, and Chestnut,” Chance said. “This…is easiest for the churches, the residents that live in the area, for us, and our security people to manage.”

When it began in 2008, the special events office at St. Louis City Hall had five fun run/marathon/walking events in downtown. This year, there are 23 and that number won’t be growing.

Every event that takes place in a public space, street or park comes through this office.

“We want a downtown vibrant and busy, and a place where people come to for this sort of thing,” Chance said. “Juggle that with the convenience of people that live here and the businesses that are here so that people can get around. It’s a juggling act.”