Runners from around the country will gather on the Island this weekend for the sixth annual Martha’s Vineyard marathon and half marathon.

Nearly 1,000 people have registered for the races, said race director Lee Ann Yarbor (though in the past there has been a 25 per cent no-show rate). The event is put on by San Diego-based road race company USA Endurance Events, which organizes seven marathons around the U.S. each year.

The 26.2-miler kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the YMCA. Runners will spend the first 13 miles in the Manual F. Correllus State Forest. They will continue through Edgartown on Meeting House Way toward Atlantic Drive, turn left up Katama Road, then onto Beach Road and over the big bridge, crossing the finish line at Waban Park in Oak Bluffs.

The half marathon, as well as a two-person half marathon relay, will start at 8:30 a.m. and follow a similar, but shorter, route.

No roads will be closed for the race, but drivers should anticipate some delays if traveling near the course.

Ms. Yarbor is a running enthusiast who has competed in 52 marathons across 36 states. She started the Martha’s Vineyard marathon with the hopes that people could treat the event as what she called a “run-cation.”

“They can kill two birds with one stone by running a race and getting to spend some vacation time with their family,” she said. “People can get here Friday, run Saturday and then relax and enjoy the Island on Sunday.”

Ms. Yarbor and her team will be joined by about 40 YMCA volunteers to set up the race, manage water and tick spray stations along the route and clean up at the end of the day.
All proceeds from the races will be donated to the YMCA.