Prepping for Panerathon

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Around 8,000 people are expected to race in this year’s Panerathon.

Saturday morning most of those participants showed up at the Covelli Centre, where the race will start on Sunday, for packet pickup day.

Christine Schialdone of Lowellville picked up bags for herself and several family members.

“There’s four families. My sister’s family, my family, my sister-in-law from Cleveland and my niece from Cleveland and their kids,” said Schialdone.

This will be one of the largest races to date with 6,500 adults and 1,500 kids.

Racers are reminded that there will be no on-site parking at the Covelli Centre. Organizers said there will plenty of parking spaces available this year to accommodate the crowd.

“We have arranged many free lots about a block, two blocks, three blocks away from the Covelli Center. And those will all be marked with signage. We also have parking maps on our website that people can download,” said Liz Fiorino, event coordinator.

Major streets in downtown Youngstown, like Federal and Commerce will be closed off.

One of the biggest changes this year is security. It will be more intense, organizers said that’s because of the larger crowd. Just months after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, safety is still on everyone’s minds.

A local bomb squad will be on-site as well.

Participants should leave any big bags in their vehicles.

Registration starts Sunday at 8 a.m., the 10k race kicks off at 10 a.m.

One more recommendation from organizers, car pool and arrive as early as possible.

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