Thousands of people in Saskatoon are lacing up their runners for the Wings for Life World Run.

Runners from across the province are participating to raise money for spinal cord research. There are more than 86,000 Canadians living with spinal cord injuries and that number increases by about 4,300 every year.

The race is a global competition, pitting Saskatchewan runners against many runners around the world. 

Jeff Langford, director of the Wings for Life World Run, says this isn't a typical charity run. A pace car is dispatched to chase the runners down and eliminate them from the race by passing them.

"You see racers get five to ten K (kilometres) on the highway, so that people just have to keep running faster and further until they just can't go anymore," Langford said. "Globally, we've got over 45,000 (people) altogether. So the fun thing is you can go online and watch the race. And the live results will be listing everyone globally in one list."

Two of those racers are Regina-born professional snowboarding brothers Mark and Craig McMorris.

Saskatoon is one of 35 race locations and the only host city in Canada. Organizers estimate 150,000 runners will take part around the world.

Several roads closed Sunday morning

The unique format of Wings for Life World Run means traffic in the area is partially restricted on Sunday morning.

The eastbound lanes of Circle Drive S. is closed between 11th Street W. and Highway 11 from 3:30 a.m. CST until 6 a.m.

Idylwyld Drive is closed between the Sid Buckwold Bridge and Circle Drive South from 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Southbound traffic on Highway 11 is restricted to one lane between Circle Drive and Grasswood Road from 3:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. The section of Highway 11 between Grasswood Road and Kenaston is closed until 11 a.m.