18th annual Northshore Inline Marathon kicks off the weekend in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

September 13, 2013 Updated Sep 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM CDT

Duluth,MN (NNCNOW.com) --Thousands are gearing up for the 18th annual Northshore Inline Marathon.

The weekend kicked off Friday night with a Skate Expo at the DECC in Duluth and a kid's Sprint Race.

People from near and far are rolling into Duluth for the largest race in the country, and what some say is the best.

"I'm from Tampa Florida and I'm here to skate the best marathon in the country," said Jessica Wright.

The event is expected to bring three thousand people to the area.

"We still have people registering 2,500 to 3,000 participants, with over 15,000 people that come into the town that are spectating and watching the event. Cheering on the racers," said Executive Director of the Marathon Skeeter Moore.

Spectators will have many opportunities to watch six different events throughout the day Saturday from classic to state roller ski and even a new event the 'Tunnel 10K run'.

Organizers say they are putting the whole course to good use.

"We have the course, it's totally closed down so we need to utilize our course costs as much as possible, and with the timing of the event everything works out really well. We got 26 miles closed down we might as well use it as much as possible," said Race Director, Tone Coughlin.

Part of I–35 going up the Northshore will be shut down to through traffic starting at 4 a.m. Saturday.

The Full Marathon will start in Two Harbors at 9 a.m.
The Half Marathon will start at 6:45 a.m.

Both races end between the DECC and the Irvin.

Shuttle buses will also be running to take participants and spectators to various courses.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.