THOUSANDS of runners of all ages will be pounding the streets of Bournemouth this weekend for the seventh Bournemouth Marathon Festival.

Here are some of the key points you need to know about this year’s running extravaganza.

We'll be bringing you pictures from all of today's races later on

How many races are there? There will be eight races this year – the marathon, half marathon, Supersonic 10K, Supernova 5K, junior 5K, junior 2K, junior 1.5K and the Kids’ Kilometre.

When will they take place?

Saturday’s races: The races will kick start with the Kids’ Kilometre, for participants aged three to six, which will begin at 12noon. This will be followed by three BMF Junior races, with the 1.5km race, for runners aged 6-8, at 12.45pm, and the 2km race, for runners aged 9-12, starting at 1.30pm.

The junior races will be concluded with the junior 5k for racers aged 11-18 which will commence at 2.30pm. All three routes will start on Bournemouth Prom and finish near the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Hub in the Lower Gardens.

The Supersonic 10K takes place on Saturday afternoon at 4pm and, with a fantastic flat and fast course, it’s great for setting a quick time. As night falls, The Supernova 5K will get underway. This beautiful coastal route takes in the Bournemouth Pier and takes place at dusk with an emphasis on light around the route.

Sunday’s races:

The Bournemouth half marathon will start bright and early at 8am, as runners follow the Full Marathon route, taking in both Bournemouth and Boscombe Pier.

The Bournemouth Marathon will commence at 10am and, with beautiful coastal views and a spectacular finish, it is ‘running as it should be’.

How many people are taking part?

Around 15,000 people have registered for races throughout the festival of which 4,000 will be taking part in Sunday's marathon and 5,000 in the half marathon.

Who should I look out for?

Four-year-old Arthur Blake will be taking part in the Kids’ Kilometre having contracted sepsis and later meningitis as a new-born. The keen little runner will be raising awareness and money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Alan Oliver will be competing in the marathon as part of an epic fundraising challenge, having competed in eight ultra-challenge events before signing up to the Bournemouth Marathon Festival. He will be raising money for Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his mum Irene, who sadly passed away at the age of 69 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her late 50s.

Edgard Zaldua is looking forward to competing in his fourth Bournemouth Marathon for Julia’s House Children’s Hospice. Edgard’s son Daniel has a rare condition called Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare degenerative and progressive condition that affects a child’s learning and development. Julia’s House have helped support Daniel, Edgard and the rest of his family over the years.

Last year Daniel took part in the Kids’ Kilometre and his sister Isabella ran the junior 2k as well. Look out for the family at this year’s event.

The incredible Sean Doran completed the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon at the festival for Asthma UK, raising well over £1,000 for the cause.

Can I still enter?

Charity entries for the full marathon are still available, however all entries are closing soon. The junior races have already closed.

Where is the best place to watch? The seafront or the clifftops are some of the best places to watch the races but parking problems are to be expect. Perhaps, park a little further out than the central car parks and walk the short distance to the beach and soak up the excitement along the way.

Hydration Stations

Hydration Stations for the 10K, half marathon and full marathon distances will be positioned approximately every 5kms along the course. Runners in all races will be given water when they finish. The Supersonic 10K hydration station is located at approximately 6.5k.

Where is the Bournemouth Marathon Festival hub? The Bournemouth Marathon Festival hub and Event Number station will be located in the Bournemouth Lower Gardens. Entrants can pick up race packs and purchase merchandise here and it will be open from 8am-8pm on Saturday and 7am-5pm on Sunday.

Which roads are closed?

Bournemouth Echo:

More details here: Road closure details for Bournemouth Marathon festival