AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the department faces a “challenge” to fully staff major events such as the 3M half marathon on Sunday.

More than 7,500 runners will compete in the race – one of the country’s fastest half marathons – which begins at Stonelake Boulevard in northwest Austin and ends near the State Capitol.

Staffing shortages and COVID-19 have made it tougher to staff large scale events, Chief Chacon said.

“I have fewer officers that are available right now to go and work those special events,” he said. “So staffing up the special events has been a challenge.”

APD will receive help from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety to ensure Sunday’s event is fully staffed.

Those agencies “have really stepped up and helped a lot,” Chief Chacon said.

“Generally, for a big event like the 3M, you’ll see a mix of law enforcement agencies out there,” he added.

Runners from 10 different countries will compete in the 28th 3M half marathon, which starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

They will run mostly downhill on a course that showcases the best of Austin, organizers said.