Numbers will be down by more more than half for Sunday's Orange Running Festival, the result of a reduced slate of events and a new maximum capacity of 650.
Last year's event - held shortly before the country went into lockdown - attracted more than 1,500 competitors.
Mike Cooper, president of Orange Runners Club, which organises the festival, said about 300 people had registered, and that he was hopeful of about 500 participants when registrations close on Saturday.
The festival is at Gosling Creek Reserve, however unlike in previous years there will be no road closures required, due to the restricted number of events.
"It takes 12 months to organise the running festival as we need to organise road closures and have people man the barricades, but because of all the approvals [during the coronavirus pandemic] we chose to run something that keeps the brand going but requires much less preparation," Mr Cooper said.
"It was a risk just starting the planning as we didn't know if we'd have a running festival at all."
Mr Cooper said there was disappointment among past participants, who had travelled from places including Sydney and Canberra, and from across the Central West, but that people were understanding.
"They realise it's not a decision we took lightly, but one we had to do in the interests of our club; hopefully we will have a full schedule next year."
While the half and full marathons have been cancelled, there will still be a 2km Junior Dash and 6km running events for men and women. Starts will be staggered, and runners will set off in socially distanced groups of 40.
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