New Bedford to host 45th Annual Half Marathon

Race Begins at 11 a.m. Sunday; Residents Advised of Traffic, Parking Restrictions

NEW BEDFORD – Don’t be surprised to see a sea of green rolling through the Whaling City on Sunday.

The City and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick are hosting the 45th annual New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday, March 17, which also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. The race begins and ends on Pleasant Street by City Hall in the historic Downtown district. More than 2,000 runners will start the race at 11 a.m.

Here’s some important information New Bedford residents and visitors should know for Half Marathon Day:


The 13.1-mile course takes runners to the North End and South End of the City. From Downtown, runners will head north to Hathaway Road, south down Rockdale Avenue and around the peninsula before heading back Downtown to the finish line at City Hall plaza. The course is a challenging one that includes two major hills, while featuring waterfront views and hundreds of volunteers and cheering fans lining the course.


Organizers have taken great care to ensure that the New Bedford Half Marathon continues to maintain its reputation as one of the safest races in New England. Nearly 125 New Bedford police officers will patrol the course, and ambulances staffed by New Bedford Emergency Medical Services will be stationed throughout the City.

The New Bedford Police Department has asked runners and spectators NOT to bring bags to the course, as backpacks, suitcases, and rolling bags will not be permitted near the start/finish area. Police also ask that spectators and runners report any suspicious activity to one of the many police officers available throughout the course leading up to, during, and after the race.

Traffic, parking restrictions

Parking will not be permitted along the race route. No parking signs have been posted along the route to warn motorists. In addition, the race route is closed to vehicular traffic. Residents are advised to plan ahead, as traffic will be restricted from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Police encourage residents who live in the South End, especially those who live on the peninsula, to plan to leave for any necessary travel before 10 a.m. and return after 1:30 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to avoid Route 18 southbound from Union Street while the race is underway.

Police have identified two alternative routes for people who need to gain access inside the course perimeter. Persons who may be visiting a patient at St. Luke’s Hospital or who need access to the inner perimeter for other reasons should consider the following routes:


  1. Rt. 195 Eastbound to Penniman Street exit to County to Parker to Cottage streets.
  2. Rt. 195 Westbound to Downtown exit to Route 18 Southbound to Route 6 exit (Downtown) to Mill Street to Cottage Street.


The City of New Bedford will offer complimentary parking at the Elm Street and Zeiterion parking garages.

Delays in SRTA service

The Southeast Regional Transit Authority has announced some changes for Half Marathon day as it continues to offer Sunday bus service. The Downtown terminal will be closed and all routes will be detoured to MacArthur Drive and Union Street for the day. SRTA is also expecting delays that day due to road closures. Several routes in the City will be suspended from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please visit for more details.

Check out the City

Visitors are encouraged to explore New Bedford before and after the race. There are plenty of unique shops, amazing restaurants and sights to check out across the City. Please visit for some ideas.

For more information on the race and race day activities please visit: