Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Runners, walkers and casual strollers alike are getting ready for the 39th annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.

The marathon is more than just a run, it’s an entire race weekend beginning Oct. 5, when participants can pick up their race package at the Victoria Conference Centre, and check out sponsor booths and healthy living experts.

On Oct. 6 a free expo filled with special speakers is followed by a “carbo” dinner to fill runners with energy-boosting carbohydrates the night before the race.

The full marathon, half marathon, 8K road race and Thrifty Foods Kids Run hits the streets Oct. 7.

“People don’t need to be intimidated, it’s more about getting out there,” said Cathy Noel, marathon general manager. “It’s part of a healthy lifestyle.”

While participants might just be there for fun, more avid runners can also use the race as a qualifier for the upcoming Boston Marathon.

RELATED: Retro run helps launch 2018 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

All runners are also encouraged to make a pledge to one of the 12 participating charity partners. Since the charity aspect began in 2006, runners have raised $1.8 million.

“If not this year, by the 40th year we really want to break the $2 million mark,” Noel said.

The race is anticipated to have between 8,000-9,000 participants, as well as 1,600 volunteers, who Noel said are always needed for jobs from marshalling the course to handing out water.

People interested in registering are encouraged to do so sooner rather than later, simply because spots will fill up and entry fees will increase closer to the date.

“If people are training, they can come to register and then they’re invited to join our Facebook training group that gives them tips, and provides a community and level of support,” Noel said.

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