An estimated 12,000 runners will be participating in the 2017 Calgary Marathon this weekend.
Although the marathon kicks off on Sunday at 6:30 a.m., other runs and events will be happening at Stampede Park all weekend long.
In addition to hosting a marathon, the event also offers runners the option of participating in a 50-kilometre ultra-marathon, a half marathon, a 10-kilometre run, five-kilometre family walk or run, and a kids’ marathon.
New this year, runners are able to participate in a special 150-kilometre run, called the Altra Confederation 150K, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.
In total, 70 athletes will be taking part in the 150-kilometre race.
While speaking with Global Calgary on Friday, Calgary Marathon executive director Kirsten-Ellen Fleming said the race – which is sold out – will start Saturday at 6 p.m. at Eau Claire Market.
“They run the first 100 kilometres overnight,” she explained. “Then they start the 50-kilometre leg with the rest of the masses on race day.”
WATCH: Calgary Marathon executive director Kirsten-Ellen Fleming joins Global Calgary to discuss preparations for the race weekend.
Fleming said the Calgary Marathon is Canada’s longest-running marathon, and draws athletes from around the world.
Some out-of-town runners even participate in a home-share program.
“They actually stay with Calgarians in their homes,” she explained. “It’s really great to see them integrated.”
The usual route for the marathon will change slightly this year due to the removal of the 12 Street S.E. Zoo Bridge.
The race will cause a number of rolling road closures throughout the downtown core.
“There are roads that will be closed to traffic temporarily. Police are manning those intersections. Cars will be allowed in and out when things are safe, but obviously expect delays on Sunday at least until 2 p.m.,” Flemming said.
Registration for the marathon is open until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 27.
Scotiabank, an event sponsor, says the event brings in $7 million annually to Calgary’s local economy.