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Ready to run? 2017 Calgary Marathon kicks off Sunday

WATCH: The 2017 Calgary Marathon kicks off on Sunday. Bindu Suri has details on what’s new at the event this year, and how the route has been changed.

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.

READ MORE: Alberta man with no arms or legs crosses finish line at Calgary 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.

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“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.

Organizers prepare for the 2017 Calgary Marathon
Organizers prepare for the 2017 Calgary Marathon

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.

“We’re still taking our runners through Bridgeland – just because it’s such a great community and we love how supportive they are, getting out and cheering on race day – but we’re taking [runners] via Memorial Drive, so we had to lose that Inglewood piece for this year,” Flemming explained.

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.

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