6,000 runners expected in uptown for Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Race organizers say more than 6,000 runners will be in uptown Charlotte Saturday morning for the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon.

The event features five different races: the marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay, 5K, and kid's one-mile run.

The activities will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Romare Bearden Park, which will serve as the start and finish line for the race.

"We are really excited that Charlotte is growing as a city, but also as an active community," said Brian Mister, the Marketing Director for the marathon. "We have 42 states and nine countries represented here. It is amazing. Those folks are flying in, checking out the airport, they are checking out restaurants, our breweries, coffee shops."

The course will take runners all throughout the city from uptown to SouthEnd, Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, and NoDa. Throughout the morning there will be road closures along the route.

"It is rolling, so every street is not blocked for six hours," said Tim Rhodes, the race director. "There is something for everyone."

You can find a list of road closures and the times they will be closed here.

"We want to make sure that we do not upset the community that is not out there running that day. So, make sure you are checking that if you are driving around," said Mister.

The weekend is full of events, including the expo that is happening on Friday at the Charlotte Convention Center.

"Every year it is amazing how much money gets re-invested into the community through hotels and restaurant spends," said Rhodes.

With recent attacks and the size of the event, security is on the minds of many.

"You are never comfortable. I think if you are comfortable you make a mistake," said Rhodes. "We have talked about security. How we keep vehicles from entering certain areas. They have their dogs that sniff the area to make sure nothing has been planted."

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says it will have 400 uniformed officers working the race.

"We are pulling from everybody. We are pulling from everybody. Including the Sheriff's Office," said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney. "We do add a cushion every year because of what goes on nationally."

The event offers options to anyone, from children to seasoned runners.

"So, tomorrow I am running the half marathon and I am pregnant. I will also be pushing my 18-month-old in a stroller," said Emily Watson. "Try not to live in fear. You just enjoy each day. I think it is under control."

One of the things runners will have to combat is the weather. Temperatures will dip into the low 30s Saturday morning.

"It's going to be cold as 'beep'," said runner Ornela Vazquez jokingly.

Other runners said the low temperatures will make the event challenging because people in the Charlotte area haven't been able to train in similar weather.

"It's difficult when it's the first cold weekend because we haven't trained in any cold weather clothes," said runner Darryl Strack.

For details about the race, registration, and road closures, click here.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.