THOUSANDS of runners and cyclists are set to descend on the city this weekend for two huge events.

This weekend, runners are set to take part in the ABP Southampton Marathon while cyclists are taking on the first Southampton Criterium ever.

Taking place today, the Criterium has a number of different events.

For the longer sportive events, 100km Challenge will start between 8 - 8.45am and the 60km Challenge will start at 9 - 9.45am.

For the shorter city-centre Criterium, the event is broken up into 10 different waves – depending on ability - with the last event due to take place at 5.35pm.

Organisers say this brand new event will be bringing a festival of cycling to the city.

It will combine a British Cycling-endorsed race and a challenge sportive involving hundreds of riders.

For the Sporterium, only a few city centre roads around Southampton’s East Park, Palmerston Park, and Houndwell Park, will be closed for the Criterium route.

These roads include the A3024, Above Bar Street, Commercial Road, East Part Terrace, New Road, Palmerston Road and Pound Tree Road.

However, for the longer 100km and 60km events, roads will not be closed, only signposted and marshalled.

The ABP Marathon will take place on Sunday with the Full Marathon and Half Marathon at 9am, and the 10k race at 10am.

The annual event was cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic, but returns with a lot of fanfare and buzz.

Thousands of people are expected to compete in this sixth instalment of the event, as well as cheer from the sides, as the event returns for the first time since the 2019.

For this event, more than 40 roads across the city centre will be closed for most of the morning.

To view the full list of closures, visit the Daily Echo website.

Although there are extensive closures in the city centre, movement around the city is still possible via the A33 coming into Westquay as well as Kingsway and the Avenue all being cleared and open throughout the race day.

Across the weekend there will be around 7,000 runners taking part in the marathon, then a further 1,000 cyclists who will be racing in the Sporterium.

The event is also expected to draw in more than 20,000 spectators across the area over the two days.

More than 800 volunteer marshals will be in attendance, helping out from 30 different community groups including sports groups, scouts, cheerleaders and universities.