Volunteers preparing for Hancock Canal Run

Preparations are underway for the premier running and walking event in the Upper Peninsula going on this weekend.

Volunteers gathered at Portage Health in Hancock to put together racer packets for those participating in this year’s Canal Run. The packets include an official t–shirt, a small snack and coupons from local businesses. Event Coordinator Angela Luskin says there are some big changes that are coming for this year’s race.

“We have really bumped up our safety. It’s our number one concern with the canal run. So Quincy Street is going to be closed, both lanes of traffic from about 8 o’clock to 10:30 a.m. That is going to be great for the spectators and the racers as their coming through that finish line,” Luskin said.

Another big change is the timing chip, which will be placed on the racer bib instead of on the ankle. Luskin says there are many things about the canal run that allow it to stand out from other races in the U.P.

“We have a great committee working on things. Each year, we try to listen to the runners and get improvements for the following year. We have a lot of different races so anything from the half marathon to the five–mile event really adds some diversity for different people doing the race,” said Luskin.

Online registration at HancockCanalRun.com ends tonight at midnight and last minute registration will take place tomorrow at Finlandia from 2 to 8 p.m.