A record number of participants will contest the hills of Stromlo this weekend after race organisers bucked the trend of coronavirus cancellations.
The Stromlo Running Festival received an exemption from the ACT government to host 1800 participants in the sold-out event, which will take place across two days for the first time in its 11-year history.
It attracted almost double the attendance of last year's edition, with 900 runners to compete on each day - with the 30 and 50-kilometre events scheduled for Saturday and the 10-kilometre race for Sunday.
Half of those participants are new to the Stromlo Running Festival, a second factor race director Mel Bingley says is encouraging amid a global health crisis.
"It's super humbling [to have record numbers] but I think it shows the support the community has for events like this. It's such a spectacular event, it's steeped in history and people want to be part of that community," Bingley said.
"It's a community event that celebrates people's achievements and strengths. It's quite amazing and bucks that trend [of event postponements and cancellations], having nearly doubled our attendance in the last year.
"We just want to see more people being active and spreading that health and wellness vibe."
A number of COVID-safe measures have been introduced to ensure the mass-participation event is compliant with social distancing and hygiene regulations.
Each event will start in waves of 100 people, with each group separated by 20-30 minutes on the Stromlo course. They'll be separate start-finish lines, one-way traffic flow, santisation stations, as well as comprehensive pre-event and entry point screening processes.
Bingley and the organising team were in the early stages of planning when the coronavirus struck the nation in March, the race director saying they were determined to get it across the line as similar events were cancelled.
"We feel very humbled to be able to get to this point and hold the event, unlike so many other iconic ones," Bingley said.
"Our end of November date was of benefit to us as we watched and waited to see how restrictions were going to ease, with a lot of planning and working with authorities, and the government, we've been able to do that.
"We put in very robust practices in the beginning. Probably more-so with the restrictions now, they're more robust than what perhaps is necessary but that will hopeful safeguard our event for the end of the year."
The Stromlo Running Festival has also continued its support of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation, raising $5000 for the charity this year.