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Everything you need to know for the Twin Cities Marathon weekend

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Thousands of runners will be pounding the pavements around Minneapolis-St. Paul on Twin Cities Marathon weekend.

Here's what you need to know:

Road closures start on Saturday

The warm-up for Sunday's marathon will be the 10K and 5K races starting from the State Capitol in St. Paul, which start at 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. respectively.

As a result, there will be partial closures of several roads starting from 7 a.m. and lasting as late as noon, with affected streets including John Ireland Blvd., Kellogg Blvd., Wabasha Blvd., and Summit Ave.

full list of closures can be found here.

The marathon course, road closures, timings

The point-to-point marathon starts in downtown Minneapolis near the under construction U.S. Bank Stadium.

It then winds it way through Minneapolis via Lake of the Isles, and Lakes Calhoun, Harriet and Nokomis, before heading along either side of the Mississippi River and along Summit Ave.. in St. Paul, finishing by the Capitol.

Road closures start in downtown Minneapolis from 5 a.m. from 5th to 11th Ave. and 6th St. to 3rd St. to allow for setup, with course closures starting from 7:30 am., gradually being opened a few hours later as the race progresses.

A list of road closure timings can be found here.

The 10-mile race, which sends runners to St. Paul down the (already closed) West River Parkway before sending them along the Dinkytown Greenway and East River Road, will start at 7 a.m.

The marathon itself will get underway at 8 a.m., with wheelchair users setting off five minutes earlier.

Where to watch – and more cowbell

The Star Tribune has put together this guide for spectators that features the best places to watch the race, as well as the best places for pictures, food pit-stops and a guide to spectator etiquette.

It suggests that the best vantage points include mile 5 around Lake Calhoun and mile 21 on the East River Road. The best cheering spots meanwhile include mile 11 at the corner of Minnehaha Parkway and Cedar Ave., and anywhere along Summit Ave.

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon also has this guide for spectators that details all the associated events that will be going on over this weekend, and advise spectators to plan well ahead of time where they're planning to be.

It has suggested some "favorite cheers" for runners, which include: "You rock!," "You're looking awesome!" and "Keep smiling!"

It also encourages people to bring tambourines, thunder sticks and, of course, cowbells to make plenty of noise along the route.

What will the weather be like?

Spectators (and runners for that matter) should wrap up, as KSTP suggests that temperatures will be around 44 for the start of the marathon.

It should be a nice day overall though, with the sky expected to be partly cloudy and temperatures predicted to rise around 58 by lunchtime.

Transit information

Race participants and volunteers can get free rides on both the Green and Blue light rail lines on race weekend, for which runners need to show their race bib board,

The best place to exit for the marathon and 10 mile start lines is the Downtown East Station.

Pre-race buses will also be laid on from the Crown Plaza Riverfront Hotel and Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge Hotels in St. Paul from 5 a.m. to 6:45 a.m., and from Radisson Plaza in Minneapolis from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Post-race buses will also be laid on, taking people to either Mall of America Field and the Radisson Plaza in Minneapolis or the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul.

Drivers have been told to bear in mind the area around the course will be extremely busy, and that normal parking rules will apply.

More travel information is here.

Black Lives Matter protest

A demonstration by the St. Paul Black Lives Matter group will be held starting at Boyd Park in St. Paul from 10 a.m., with protesters given a spot near the marathon's finishing line as well.

The group however has said it has no intention of blocking runners as they head towards the finish, so the impact on the marathon should be minimal.

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