The Whanganui 3 Bridges Marathon 2019 is just around the corner and organiser Rob Conder predicts that it will be bigger than ever.

"It was big last year and there is a lot of enthusiasm for this year," he said.

"I encourage the community to join or just come along and cheer the participants on."

Conder said the changes made to the course last year to reduce the number of tight bends and make it more suitable for runners and walkers of all levels had worked well and the routes will be the same this year.

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"The exciting new development this year is that the marathon and half marathon are now IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] and AIMS [Association of International Marathons and Distance Races] certified.

"That means that the course has been measured and meets international criteria, which is great news for serious competitors.

"Their times can now be used as an official time for any events requiring a qualifying time."

The Whanganui 3 Bridges Marathon route for 2019.
The Whanganui 3 Bridges Marathon route for 2019.

There is still plenty of room for fun, however, and Conder said he encourages runners and walkers of all levels to enter.

"It is good, healthy fun for everyone and there will be spot prizes, a barbecue and a lolly scramble for the kids."

There will be an official road closure on Taupō Quay between Market Place and Bates St from 4am until 4pm on December 14 and one lane of Somme Parade up to Dublin St Bridge will be closed.

Conder said spectators are encouraged but he asks that the course be kept free for competitors.

Last year, 3 Bridges attracted competitors from throughout the North Island and Conder predicts a bigger turnout this year.

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"Numbers are limited to 1000 so I advise people to register early so they don't miss out."

The December 14 event comprises the Hits 5km Run and Walk along with the Pak'nSave Marathon Run and Walk, the Property Brokers Half Marathon Run and Walk, the Unichem Whanganui Quarter Marathon Run and Walk, the Let's Go Corporate Relay and the McDonald's Kids Fun-Runathon.

Register online at whanganuithreebridges.co.nz or contact Wanganui Harrier Club on 06-343 3453.