As runners lace up for their big race this Sunday, one bus company is offering free travel to and from the event.

This weekend sees the return of the ABP Southampton marathon, the first full 26.2 mile race in the city for more than three decades.

Road closures will see travel disrupted throughout the city, with some shut from 7am until 8pm.

First Bus and it’s City Red service is hoping to calm that disruption by offering any runner in either the ABP Southampton marathon, half marathon or 10k, free travel on selected services on the way to and from their race.

General Manager of First Southampton, Simon Goff said: “Running a marathon is such an amazing achievement and to thank the runners for their efforts and for raising so much money for charity, we’d like to offer them a free ride to and from the race.”

Ten thousand runners are expected to descend on the city, with twice that amount set to line the city streets in support.

Runners need to show their race number to the driver and can travel to and from the event for free.

The services offering free transport include the City Red’s 2,7,10 and 11.

First Bus services X4, X5, 6, 8 and 12 are also providing free travel for runners.

Simon Goff added: “We would like to wish all competitors all the very best of luck and we look forward to welcoming them and their families on board!”

Chris Rees, organiser of the ABP Southampton marathon said: “We are absolutely thrilled that First Bus is very generously giving free travel to those running. Reducing the impact of on the city’s roads and air quality is important to us and this incentive will play an important part in that mission.

“Last year around 60 per cent of people came to the event by car and we’re hoping to drive that down to 50 per cent this year. ABP has helped us bring free bike storage to runners, so we’re well on track.”