Old Race Route Is Back For Run For The Red

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PARADISE TOWNSHIP -- More than 1,000 runners will hit the road this weekend in the Poconos for the Run for the Red Marathon.

This year the course returns to its original route after taking a bit of a detour last year due to a bridge project.

The change in course is helping some local businesses.

Last year's Run for the Red Marathon brought hills and challenges for more than 1,000 runners in the Poconos.

A big detour brought on by a PennDOT project near Mount Pocono disrupted the biggest fundraiser for the Red Cross in Monroe County.

"They took the bridge out about four miles down from us and there was no way they could cross the stream. Big detour," said Crescent Lodge owner Robert Dunlap.

That detour took the race away from a stretch of Route 191 near Mount Pocono where Dunlap runs the Crescent Lodge. Dunlap says this year he's excited the race's halfway point will return to his hotel.

"Absolutely, we enjoy them. They're nice people, they're easy to please, they seem to be very appreciative."

Dunlap says they'll serve up breakfast for their race guests on Sunday morning and are starting extra early with extra staff.

The Crescent Lodge is at full capacity this weekend, another reason to get excited.

"At this time of year, absolutely, because this is Memorial Day weekend coming, so that's a big weekend to start with."

While the bridge across Brodhead Creek will be open for runners, it's closed to traffic during the race, which will bring some businesses to a bit of a halt.

Owners at Ross and Ross Nursery on Route 191 near Mount Pocono usually plan to come in early on marathon day pedaling to work instead of driving while roads are shut down.

"My brother will come over on his bicycle and probably his daughters, also," said Linda Besecker.

Although they say business slows during the Run for the Red, they're happy they get exposed to thousands of people who might otherwise never pass their business.

"We really welcome that. It's exciting that they get to look at all the beautiful plants and flowers, and hopefully they'll be back to purchase some."

The Run for the Red begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. It starts at Pocono Mountain West High School and ends at Stroudsburg High School stadium.