Downtown New Bedford is the place to be Sunday, with over 3,000 runners taking off and returning to the start/finish line of the 37th Annual New Bedford Half Marathon.

The race, organized by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, is sometimes used as a gauge for how runners will do in next month's Boston Marathon.

Mayor Jon Mitchell says after the race, runners and their fans are encouraged to stick around for a little while.

Mitchell says he's expecting a safe race, but security is heightened after last year's bombing in Boston. Runners and by-standers are asked not to bring backpacks or any other bulky bags near the start/finish line on the Pleasant Street side of City Hall.

Sunday's race may be more challenging for runners than in years past, with breezy conditions and temperatures hovering around freezing.

The race kicks off at 11am. WBSM will cover the race from start to finish beginning live at 10:50am.

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