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Runners are encouraged as the cross the finish line. The 7 Bridges Marathon and 4 Bridges Half Marathon, along with a 5K run were held simultaneously Sunday October 16, 2016 along the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.

International outdoor adventurer and television host Ryan Van Duzer will run Sunday's 7 Bridges Marathon, film live video and serve as a guest emcee for the eighth annual local event.

Van Duzer has appeared on the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel and in "National Geographic," "Men's Journal" and other outlets, but he is best known for releasing motivational content to his social media pages to inspire people to explore.

"I'm incredibly excited to visit Chattanooga for the first time and see its beauty up close and personal for 26 fun miles," Van Duzer said in a statement. "I've always loved the southern hospitality of Tennessee, and I'm looking forward to making new friends in Chattanooga."

The Boulder, Colorado, resident's adventures usually involve long cycling excursions, but he has participated in other outdoor competitions worldwide. He once lived in the jungles of Venezuela for a month, eating bugs, for the Discovery Channel's "Out of the Wild: Venezuela."

Van Duzer shares his adventures to his popular YouTube page, which has nearly 30,000 subscribers.

"We're excited to have Ryan be a part of our 7 Bridges Marathon weekend," according to a statement from race director Jay Nevans. "We think sharing our love of Chattanooga and all its scenic beauty is a big part of our event and we believe his audience will find Chattanooga special just like we do!"

As for the race itself, contestants will see an altered course.

The marathon will incorporate more of the Tennessee Riverwalk and feature an eighth bridge as city and race officials work to have a minimal negative impact on the community.

The route will go through the Bluff View Art District, in front of the Hunter Museum of American Art and across the Holmberg Bridge.

"It will be a little more scenic and have less impact on our neighbors," Nevans said.

Navans expects about 1,800 participants, which is in line with previous years. The event will begin and end in Coolidge Park and also features the Desmond Doss Memorial 4 Bridges Half Marathon, 7 Bridges Relay, 5K and PM Pediatrics Family Fun Run.

Registration will remain open online at sevenbridgesmarathon.com through Saturday night.

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at ChattanoogaOutdoorsTFP.

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