PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is the weekend the runners have prepared for, Marathon Weekend.

Seven different events in all, including seven for pets, but what it really comes down to is an opportunity to put Pittsburgh in the spotlight.

“What happens in Pittsburgh is rare,” said Patrice Matamoros, Pittsburgh Marathon Race Director. “There is a special bond among people who love running the way we do. That bond celebrates people, bring people together in unity to celebrate the city.”

Planning for this year started a couple of days after runners crossed the finish line last year.

“We couldn’t do this without Dick’s and the great work that they do, but Dick’s and FedEx and UPMC and GNC, they have been great partners,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Runners from 47 states and 23 countries will race through our streets on the 26-mile run. It adds up to big money for the region.

“Year after year, the marathon comes back and brings great economic impact to this region,” said Craig Davis, VisitPittsburgh President & CEO. “In fact, this year, the economic impact estimate, direct spending for the marathon, is $13.1 million. That is one of the biggest that we have reoccurring.”

There is a lot up for grabs this weekend, including for marathon runners, an opportunity to qualify for the Olympic trials, and on the half marathon side, a chance to win a national championship.

The winner on Sunday of the half marathon ends up being the USA Track & Field national champion.