Nearly 2,000 runners are expected to take to the streets of Washington today for the third annual Home Town Run and Festival, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Western Plaza.

Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Coca Cola Bottling Company and the Washington Urban League, the 15-kilometer (9.3 miles) course will pass through Washington's neighborhoods, including Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Upper Cardozo, Ledroit Park, Stanton Park and Capitol Hill.

Last year, Henry O'Connell of Silver Spring broke the course record in winning in 45:48, but will not run this year because of injuries. Will Albers of Fairfax and Robert Hirst of Washington are the prerace favorites. Albers won the 1981 race while Hirst finished second.

The women's competition will feature defending champion Mary Ellen Williams of Darnestown. Williams holds the women's record at 57:11.

In addition to the 15K race, a three-kilometer (1.8 miles) fun run will be held at 9:35. Entries for the three-kilometer race will be taken the morning of the event. Entries for the 15-kilometer race closed Friday.

The course begins at Western Plaza (14th and Pennsylvania) in front of the District Building. Then it continues onto Columbia Road, Harvard Street, Georgia Avenue, Florida Avenue, North Capitol Street, M Street NE, 7th Street NE, Independence Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, finishing at Western Plaza.