This weekend, the city will be animated by the Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon, which is presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. (Photo: Matt Pulford)

This weekend’s Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon will draw thousands of people downtown and help boost the city’s reputation as a great outdoors destination, Chattanooga Sports Committee President Tim Morgan said.

Last year, about 30 percent of the registered athletes traveled from at least 90 miles away, and that same trend has held true so far this year, he said. 

Looking forward, officials see opportunities to grow those numbers. 

The weekend kicks off with free music, and marathon runners are helping with the Brainwaves Project, which shows researchers how the brain reacts to running. There are also opportunities for people to join training programs through the Chattanooga Track Club, as well as the Health, Fitness and Technology Expo.

“We have music; we have innovative technology; we have health and wellness initiatives,” Morgan said of the weekend of events. “[We’re also] showcasing the beauty of our community.”

There are multiple races: the marathon, half-marathon, team relay, 5K and kids run. 

The marathon provides a chance for runners to experience a variety of downtown-area communities, and Morgan said officials have worked with neighborhood associations whose members want to animate their streets during the run. 

The events will mean some road closures. Click here to see the impact on traffic. 

For parking information, click here, and to read about bike transit options, click here

The expo on Friday and Saturday will include a variety of small businesses and information about health and wellness. 

“That’s an opportunity for people to not only gear up for any health and wellness initiatives, [but] there are other various vendors that help add diversity and variety,” he said. 

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