More people than ever will run and walk through Dublin during the Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon Aug. 24.
The annual run that begins and ends at Dublin Methodist Hospital has already sold out at 3,500 participants, up from 2,100 last year.
"That's huge, huge growth and huge popularity," said David Babner, race director.
"It says a lot about the running and walking community in Dublin and the draw of Dublin," he said.
The race that winds through Glacier Ridge Metro Park has increased in participants over the years.
"We've sold out the race every year since we started, but with an event like this we use an incremental growth method to make sure the event can grow with us," Babner said.
"We want to work with Dublin's Streets and Utilities Department and the parks department and police to make sure we're growing in a way that keeps this a remarkable experience."
To ensure the 3,500 runners and walkers set for this year aren't too crowded, Babner said the race will start in three waves.
"We'll have three separate starts to ease the burden on the course," he said.
The course will look the same as it has in previous years and Babner said the scenery is part of the attraction.
"The city of Dublin and the course itself are pretty remarkable," he said.
"It's a great course and great time of year and a great experience. We have people coming from 20 different states and we've got two different countries now," Babner said.
"A few people from Canada are coming down. A group is coming from Boston, Mass. to experience the city of Dublin."
The more people running also mean more money for this year's charity: Welcome Warehouse.
The Dublin nonprofit organization helps families temporarily in need in the Dublin City School District with programs such as a free store, emergency household assistance, back-to-school outreach and holiday adopt-a-family opportunities.
"This is great for Welcome Warehouse," Babner said.
"They get a portion of proceeds from each runner so the more runners and walkers, the larger the donation and more awareness they get about the great work they do in the city of Dublin," he said.
The larger crowd, however, will mean a few changes for the Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon.
"The biggest proactive thing we've done ... to ease the burden on parking and traffic on the way in and the way out is we now have a shuttle service," Babner said.
"There will be 10 different shuttle buses from Metro Place to ease the burden of parking. There will be more parking for everyone," he said.
"Traffic and parking when a race is growing like this is always a problem.
"We have 3,500 people coming for the race at the same time," Babner said. "We've worked on a great traffic and parking plan with the police."
The Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Aug. 24 at Dublin Methodist Hospital.
Anyone who missed registration for the race can still come out and cheer participants, Babner said. Viewing areas will be set up at Dublin Jerome High School and Glacier Ridge Elementary School.
For more information about the race, look online at emeraldcityhalfmarathon.com.