More than 1,100 people are expected to participate in a pair of races in downtown Tuscaloosa Saturday morning as the Visit Tuscaloosa Half Marathon & Publix 5K return for the eleventh year.

The races are coordinated by FRESHJUNKIE Racing and sponsored for the first time this year by Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports.

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Promoters for the race said it is the longest-distance running race offered in Tuscaloosa, and they expect it to draw more than 1,100 participants from 33 U.S. states.

The 13.1-mile half marathon will take runners from downtown Tuscaloosa south to the banks of the Black Warrior River, where they will follow the River Walk to the University of Alabama campus and pass through some historic downtown neighborhoods before returning to Government Plaza.

The 5K will loop around the downtown area and like the half-marathon, will start and finish in Government Plaza.

After the races, participants are invited to the Post-Race Party, where live music, pulled pork, sodas and Michelob Ultras will be on offer.

Packet pick-up for registered races is going on all day Friday at Wagner's Runwalk on Queen City Avenue.

The race is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and will impact traffic in and around Government Plaza, the River Walk, UA's campus and along University Boulevard.

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