Thousands have hit the pavement running as the Auckland Marathon kicked off on the North Shore this morning.

Despite earlier weather forecasts predicting a few showers, the weather has managed to remain dry in the city of sails, as the marathon got underway in Devonport.

In fact, very little rain, if anything is expected, with temperatures forecast to hit a cool spring high of 16 degrees by early afternoon.

Nicole Goldsmid was leading the women after 15km in the Auckland Marathon. Photo / Greg Bowker
Nicole Goldsmid was leading the women after 15km in the Auckland Marathon. Photo / Greg Bowker

More than 14,000 runners were expected to take part in the city's annual marathon today, with a thousand volunteers out on the course ensuring it all goes smoothly.

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The 42km race continues through Takapuna, before heading over the Harbour Bridge, through St Heliers and back to the CBD.

The half marathon, began slightly later this morning, just before seven, and follows a similar route, but ends at Victoria Park, without the loop to St Heliers and back.

Motorists heading into the city and across the bridge later in the day need to be mindful of diversions and closures that will affect parts of the northern motorway and several off ramps this morning.

Parking restrictions have also been enforced in the city and the North Shore, through till the afternoon.

Auckland Transport spokesman, James Ireland said drivers needed to be patient.

"We realise this can be a challenge, but all the detours will be signposted and we're confident it will all go smoothly."

He urged anyone heading into the city to think twice before bringing their cars.