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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Thousands of runners are taking over South Florida for the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run.

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About 8,000 people and more than 280 companies will be represented in “Florida’s Largest Office Party,” aiming to promote health and wellness in the workplace with a run/walk through downtown Ft. Lauderdale.

Proceeds from the tri-county 5k events will help benefit United Way.

The race starts Thursday, April 7 at 6:45 p.m. at Huizenga Place located at 32 East Las Olas Blvd.

Residents and participants should be aware of several street closures in the area.

Thursday, April 7:

• 1p.m. – 11 p.m.: Las Olas Blvd will be closed from Andrews Ave to SE 2nd Ave. Also, SE 1st Ave will be closed from SE 2nd St. to Las Olas Blvd

• 4 p.m.: Participants will start arriving – Traffic begins to increase

• 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Participants continue arriving. Street detours/lane closures along race route start (see course map here:

• 6:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Actual race time

• 9:30 p.m.: Roadways, with the exception of Las Olas, reopen

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• 11 p.m.: East Las Olas reopens to traffic

The first 1/2 mile of the race route (north of the New River) will be filled with runners and walkers; therefore, no traffic will be able to move for approximately 20 minutes.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department will open the roadways to traffic after the last participant proceeds along the route.

Absolutely NO traffic will be permitted on SE 3rd Ave north of Davie Blvd through Las Olas Blvd during the first 20 minutes of the event.

South of Davie Blvd, southbound traffic will not be permitted to SE 14th St.

Runners generally take over all of SE 3rd Ave to Davie Blvd for the start of the race and during this time period.

Northbound Andrews Ave south of SE 17th St. will be directed to SW 4th Ave or US 1.

Traffic north of 17th St. will be sent west to SW 4th Ave at 15th St. Davie Blvd will also be closed to traffic between Andrews Ave and SE 3rd Ave.

Alternate routes include sending east traffic south to SE 17th Street and directing westbound traffic back to US 1.

Southbound traffic on Andrews Ave will remain unaffected.

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The race continues in West Palm Beach on April 13th and in Miami on April 28th.