Last-minute Preps for Steamtown Marathon

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton was transformed into a racecourse Saturday morning.

Volunteers for Sunday's Steamtown Marathon set up the finish line on North Washington Avenue and patched up some potholes to ensure a smooth day for the few thousand runners who participate.

The 26.2-mile trek starts in Forest City in Susquehanna County and ends in downtown Scranton.

Before the race begins, there's a lot of preparation. The thousands of runners get their last bit of prep at Scranton High School on Saturday for the pre-marathon runner's expo.

"The runners are coming in here and picking up socks, maybe gloves or a hat, a carrier for their cell phone, that they can take on the race with them tomorrow. We get them all set up to run tomorrow and have a great time," explained Tim Ritchie, National Running Center.

The runners are preparing for a chilly start to the marathon this year. Temperatures could be in the 30s for the start of the race.

They're also shaking off the typical pre-race nerves.

"Everybody has those jitters the day before. A lot of people don't sleep right, getting to the starting line and hearing the gun going off. Then basically, it's you versus you to get to the finish line. That's what I'm looking forward to. There's going to be a lot of solitude tomorrow," said Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O'Malley.

That's why the expo is for socializing. Runners meet up here every year, maybe get a pre-race massage, and pick up their all-important race bibs.

"I love doing it. I'm a runner, and it's fun. It makes you love America. Every town, people are playing music for you, giving out oranges or drinks or clapping for you. It makes you love America," said Joseph Yasanovich of Waymart.

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