Eighteen kilometres of signs have been laid out, 222 portaloos are in position and 600 barbecues are ready to fire up.

Downtown Auckland is prepared for the annual sea of walkers and runners taking part in Round the Bays.

It's been going since 1972, and around 70,000 people take part.

Spokeswoman Sandra King says at 8.4 kilometres it's no marathon, and she believes this is why it's so attractive - because it's fun.

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She says most runners are in teams and have a good time with friends, families or colleagues.

Round the Bays begins at 9.30AM from Quay Street, near Vector Arena.