Even when a race has been around for a couple of decades, it’s still possible to make it better.
That’s the belief of race director Joe Moreno as he prepares for the 20th annual Quad-Cities Marathon.
Moreno, the founder of the event and the only director it ever has had, unveiled plans for this year’s race Thursday, including a live tracking app, a competitive mile race and a field capped at 6,000 runners.
“Twenty years ago, I never imagined we would be in this position,’’ Moreno said in announcing new features of the two-state, four-city race, scheduled for Sept. 24. “I always thought that the local running club would take it over by now, but here I am still in charge.’’
The 20th anniversary race features a new black and gold logo, replacing the traditional blue and green motif, but that’s hardly the only change.
Among the others:
--A live tracking app will be available free of charge that allows people not competing in the race to track the progress online of friends and loved ones. It also will provide an estimated finishing time for runners as they progress through the course.
--Because of limited space in certain sectors of the marathon course, Moreno said only 6,000 people will be allowed to enter. He said that cap is likely to stay in place until the new I-74 bridge is completed.
--The mile run that traditionally has been part of the race weekend (along with a half-marathon, marathon relay, 5k and kids micro marathon) will be expanded to be more competitive instead of just a walking event. A total of $600 in prize money will be offered.
--Among those involved in the race in some capacity will be Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter, former world 10k record-holder Arturo Barrios and Joe Salter, who once ran the Q-C marathon backwards while juggling balls.
Several of the race’s sponsors and the mayors of three of the cities that are part of the winding course also were in attendance at Thursday’s news conference and voiced their unwavering support for the event.
“This is one of those commitments that’s easy to keep,’’ Davenport mayor Frank Klipsch said. “This is a great thing.’’