MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The next big event to make it’s big return is the Twin Cities Marathon. Organizers say the race has had up to a 20 million impact on the economy.

The annual 26.2 mile race will return on Sunday, as well as the Medtronic 10 mile. There are other shorter family races on Saturday.

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It’s been two long years since the last race weekend, and this long awaited race will be much different than the last.

Running a marathon may sound like torture to some, but it’s fun for others, like Scott Wilson. He has run it four times.

“Once you do one, it’s hard not to want to do more,” Wilson said. “It’s so fun. It’s painful, but afterwards you’re really grateful you did it.”

But that pain and fun has been deferred two years because of COVID-19. The pandemic that delayed races also created runners.”

“My wife was never a big runner, but she quit her gym membership and now she runs three or four days a week because it’s free and it’s a way to get outside,” he said.

As of this weekend, runners and fans will be able to get outside again, but things will be different. Virginia Brophy Achman, executive director of Twin Cities in Motion, says that for the actual 26.2 mile race, there will only be about 4,500 runners, which is only about half the normal amount.

(credit: CBS)

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“At half capacity, it allows the runners to spread out and have enough room in that start corral that can be crowded, the walk off at the finish,” Brophy Achman said.

She says the 10-mile race will be the largest, with 8,500 runners. And family events on Saturday will have about 4,000.

They will also have fewer expo vendors and require masks in certain indoor places, while encouraging all to come outdoors and enjoy.

“There is 26.2 miles to come out and cheer, and there are houses along the route that have parties in their yard, but there’s plenty of space to come out and check out the runners,” Brophy Achman said.

Wilson says the Twin Cities Marathon has some of the best fans.

“I’ve run a lot of cities, and the fans here are amazing,” Wilson said. “The support you get from Mile 1 to Mile 26, it’s the best in the country, I think.”

And after a long wait, those well-supported runners will soon be able to start, and more importantly, finish.

Marathon organizers say they still need last-minute volunteers to help out. Click here for more information.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield