The course for this year’s Madison Courier Firecracker 10K Walk/Run is changing because of road work scheduled to begin next week on Hanging Rock Hill.

“We are running a little late on planning because we had the hill closure thrown at us right as we were starting to plan this year’s race,” said Curt Jacobs, publisher of The Madison Courier. “We looked at routes to finish at Lytle Park, but were not comfortable with any alternatives. The state hospital grounds are scenic so we are happy to keep the course there. This is a much flatter course and it will be interesting to see what people think of it. I think participants and spectators will enjoy finishing on the track.”

The start will still be at Madison Consolidated High School on Madison’s hilltop.

The course will take this year’s runners and walkers from the high school, around Madison Junior High School to Wilson Avenue, then to the Madison State Hospital grounds. Participants will then run a complete loop through the state hospital grounds — instead of heading down Hanging Rock to Third Street and ending at Lytle Park as in previous years.

After the loop through the state hospital grounds, runners and walkers will head back to Wilson Avenue and finish on the high school track.

The 41st annual 10K will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, which is 15 minutes later than normal. Check-in will begin at 6:30 a.m. at MCHS.

“I know that some participants want an earlier start, but we have to coordinate with a shift change at the state hospital grounds, and the 15-minute difference is critical to making sure we do not have traffic on the course,” said Jacobs.

Registration and restroom facilities will be at the high school track.

Walkers’ registration is $15 before June 25 and $20 after. Runners’ registration is $25 if received by June 25 and $30 after.

Those planning to participate are encouraged to register early to secure their desired T-shirt size.

Registration forms are available at the Madison Courier office, 310 West Street, and MadisonCourier.com/10K