Every year, the Stratton Faxon New Haven Labor Day Road Race puts runners to the test, and organizers say the 36th year will be the best one yet, with U.S. Olympians and past race winners leading the pack.
"This year our field is stronger than it's ever been with the elite men and elite women who are the best distance runners in the country," said John Courtemanche, president of the race Board of Directors.
Courtemanche said the purse is $22,000 for the male winner and $22,000 for the female winner.
At registration on Sunday, organizers said they expect about 7,000 runners to attend, hailing from three different countries and 40 states.
"I think it's a great opportunity for people to get together and show how excited they are about seeing New Haven," said runner Alberto Salvatore.
"There's a lot going on, lots of action, so it's really exciting," said runner Rachel Plucinski.
For those who live or travel along the routes, the event closing roads from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. can be quite the headache. No parking signs are already set up for 1 a.m. to noon Monday.
While the roads are closed, Edgewood Avenue will be kind of tricky to get around, but organizers say the rest will be easier for drivers to maneuver.
"It's something I try to make every year, and it helps out different programs in the area, so why not help out?" said runner Linda Doll.
Over the last 35 years, the event has raised nearly $500,000 for local charities.
The race starts at the New Haven Green and wraps around the Yale University campus and through the Westville neighborhood. It features a Kids' Race, beginning at 8:15 a.m., followed by a5K and a 20K.
A Kids' Run will begin at 8:15 a.m. Monday and the 20K and 5K will begin 30 minutes after that.
Registration continues through race day tomorrow.