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San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday: What You Need to Know

Runners will pack central San Diego streets again Sunday as San Diego’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon returns to its early June schedule.

The race resumed after its pandemic pause late last year, in October, with a new look and name. Root your favorite runner(s) on or just head out to see the competitors, crowds and other entertainment. But for motorists, there will be closures. Here’s the basics:

Weather

Runners and spectators can count on sunny and mild conditions, with highs expected to reach 68 Sunday, rising just a couple degrees from Saturday.

5K – A Day Early

Saturday matters because first up, there’s the 5K at Balboa Park, starting at 7 a.m. at President’s Way and Park Boulevard, heading north to Laurel Street and cutting through the park. Runners and walkers move on to Sixth Avenue before reaching the finish line on Balboa Drive.

Courses for Race Day

On Sunday, runners in both the full and half marathons kick off the day on near the northwest side of Balboa Park at 6:15 a.m. Spectators are welcome – cheering is free! – but motorists face many detours until the afternoon.

The race routes extend from the park through Hillcrest and east to Normal Heights to start, before runners on the shorter route shift to the south, through North Park and along Pershing Drive to the finish line on Union and Ash streets.

Marathon runners will double back through North Park all the way west to Mission Bay, before heading through Linda Vista and University Heights on the way back south past the park to the downtown finish line.

Closures

Most road closures and detours – including parts of state Route 163 and Interstate 5 – will be in effect from 5:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Police and volunteers will begin with soft closures along the entire route.

A few of the major affected streets include University Avenue, Adams Avenue, 30th Street, Sea World Drive, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Tecolote Road and North Harbor Drive.

In addition, Sixth Avenue and other streets near Balboa Park will close earlier, at 2 a.m., but re-open by 10 a.m.

Parking will be blocked off in some cases too. Streets will reopen on a rolling basis once the last participant has passed and volunteers have removed all course materials.

Transit options

The Metropolitan Transit System has added service for the marathon, starting at 4 a.m., including the Green, Blue and Orange trolley lines. Officials suggest the Green Line for spectators – its County Center/Little Italy stop is five blocks from the finish.

They also note that the Green Line stops at Old Town, Morena/Linda Vista and Fashion Valley offer prime viewing spots, with time to jump back aboard the Trolley to see the finish.

Nearly 20 bus lines, though, must make detours due to street closures. For a list of additional Sunday service and detours, see the MTS marathon page.

Entertainment

Enjoy performances throughout the route, from a variety of bands, impersonators and DJ’s. See the marathon list for which mile marker to choose. And there’s more! Head to Waterfront Park at 10:45 a.m. for the Finish Line Festival with headliner Matisyahu, along with a game zone, beer garden and food trucks.

(06/04/2022) Views: 138 ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Run through historic neighborhoods including Balboa Park and Old Town. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are packed with live entertainment on course that will keep you rockin’ all the way to the finish line. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is an awesome collection of running events centered on having fun running. Bands, cheerleaders and more fill the courses...

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2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Set for Oct. 23-24, As Organizers Run Up New Brand Flag

The next edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon is set for Oct. 23-24, after being rescheduled from its traditional early-summer slot due to the pandemic.

The distances runners can choose that weekend include a marathon, half marathon and 5K.  

In addition to the new dates, organizers have rebranded the races.

The event series, run in the U.S., Mexico, England and Colombia, will be known henceforth as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series, while the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon will be dubbed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series San Diego.

The changes, organizers argue, call attention to the half-marathon being more than a single-distance event. 

The half marathon and marathon courses lead runners on a tour through some of San Diego’s most notable neighborhoods, including Balboa Park, Hillcrest, North Park, Normal Heights, before finishing in downtown San Diego.

The rebrand includes a new series logo, event logos and website. The site, organizers say, will make it easier for participants to select race locations, distances and favored course features.

Organizers launched the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Series during the pandemic last April to provide runners with the opportunity to bring events to their own communities. It will continue as in-person events return, to help participants train for upcoming races.   

(03/29/2021) Views: 437 ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Run through historic neighborhoods including Balboa Park and Old Town. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are packed with live entertainment on course that will keep you rockin’ all the way to the finish line. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is an awesome collection of running events centered on having fun running. Bands, cheerleaders and more fill the courses...

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More than 13,000 Participants Worldwide have been Taking Part in Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Running Series Race

The global community of walkers and runners came together for the second straight weekend with over 13,000 people from 75 nations and all 50 states taking to the virtual start line for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2, the second edition in the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series. Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2 offered participants two different race distances that included 10K and Half Marathon options.

Participants have the ability to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing was completed in one session between Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. ET and event close Sunday, May 3 at 7:59 p.m. ET.

Participants in Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2 came from around the world and ranged in age from 18 to 77. The United States led the way with over 7,000 walkers and runners followed by Canada (over 500), the United Kingdom (over 500), Mexico (over 250) and Spain (over 150).

Other nations represented included Argentina, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Norway, and Turkey, among others. Of the 50 U.S. states represented, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Florida, Virginia and Arizona. Nearly 10,000 participants took on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club™ Challenges leading up to Rock ‘n’ Roll VR2. Participants embarked on several separate running and workout challenges with the opportunity for rewards in the comfort of their own community.

The challenges included the United Airlines Challenge 1: Escape to San Francisco, which saw participants complete a 1.7-mile run, the exact distance it would take to cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge; The St. Jude Challenge 1: 10,800 Strong, a 5-mile run in one period for the Heroes of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a Community Challenge 2: Geena's "Oh, a Tree" Challenge a 50-minute fartlek, A.K.A “speed play”, session of consecutive running (a workout that helps the body adapt to various speeds, conditioning you to become faster over longer distances).

Special prizes such as a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hydration Backpack, Rock ‘n’ Roll Medal Display Hanger; and a Rock ‘n’ Roll by Brooks Running Company Accessories Bundle were awarded out. In total, 27,000 runners and walkers from across the globe have joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running Club platform giving them access to a series of weekly races, challenges, and rewards.

This week, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 will offer two distances for the global community, including an 8K and 15K. Racing begins on Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET and concludes on Sunday, May 10 at 7:59 p.m. ET. In addition, the first ever virtual Remix Challenge will be offered during this weekend’s races. Participants who take on both the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3 8K and 15K can earn access to three medals beginning Friday, May 8 at 2 p.m. ET. To register for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR3, runners need to sign up for the distance they would like to do through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club platform and connect to their tracker app. Runners can then complete their registration by going to the “Events” tab and clicking “Register Now” on the virtual race page.

(05/06/2020) Views: 772 ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Run through historic neighborhoods including Balboa Park and Old Town. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are packed with live entertainment on course that will keep you rockin’ all the way to the finish line. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is an awesome collection of running events centered on having fun running. Bands, cheerleaders and more fill the courses...

more...
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Northern Arizona runners, Scott Smith, Sid Vaughn and Alice Wright set to take on San Diego half marathon

If Sid Vaughn and Alice Wright want to know what it takes to win the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon, they don't have to look too far for answers.

Their NAZ Elite teammate Scott Smith won it in 2016. He set his PR of 1:02:34 in the distance at the event that year, but hasn't returned since.

NAZ Elite has been back, but the two runners it sent in 2018 are no longer with the team. This time around Vaughn and Wright, both first-year members on the team, will join Smith in Sunday's race.

All three are trending upward heading into the race in their own way.

Smith showed he's getting back to full strength after coming back from an injury with a second-place showing at the USATF 25k Championships on Saturday, May 11, crossing the finish line in 1:15:05. For the runner-up spot, he edged out Kiya Dandena, who joined NAZ Elite in January but left after only a few months with the team.

It's the season finale for Smith, and he's getting married next week. For head coach Ben Rosario, Smith's got "nothing to lose."

"He'll probably go for broke, and I think a personal best is a real possibility," Rosario said Wednesday.

There's a real possibility that Vaughn will have the finish he and his team have been expecting him to produce since joining the roster.

The big race he had lined up, the national half marathon championship, ended up a bust as illness forced him to sit it out.

"So he's got something to prove for sure," Rosario said. Vaughn has had success at the distance in his recent past, however, winning the 2018 edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon in 1:03:35 before joining NAZ Elite. It didn't take him long to improve in the half marathon once he came aboard. He set a PR at 1:03:30 in his second race for NAZ Elite, the United Airlines New York City half.

San Diego will be Vaughn's second half marathon with NAZ Elite, while Wright is on her third with the team.

Rosario said she's now prepared for the challenges a half marathon holds.

Wright seems to have been building for this outing. She set her PR of 1:13:17 for a 19th-place finish at the Houston Half Marathon in January. Then at the NYC half, she took 14th in 1:14:25.

It's what came after NYC that's really standing out. And NAZ Elite is not shy when it comes to racing hard in the half.

So far in 2019, NAZ Elite has won three half marathons. In February, Scott Fauble and Aliphine Tuliamuk both won the Gasparilla Half Marathon, and earlier this month, Stephanie Bruce won the USATF Half Marathon Championships with a PR time of 1:10:44.

(05/30/2019) Views: 1,469 ⚡AMP
by Sarah Cotton
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Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Weekend

Run through historic neighborhoods including Balboa Park and Old Town. The Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are packed with live entertainment on course that will keep you rockin’ all the way to the finish line. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is an awesome collection of running events centered on having fun running. Bands, cheerleaders and more fill the courses...

more...
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10-Year-Old Arielle Avina, Becomes Youngest Female To Win A Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series 5K Event

10-year-old Arielle Avina (Murrieta, Cali.) shocked the finish line crowd today (Sunday June 3) as she won the female division at the Synchrony Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego 5K presented by Brooks. With this year’s Boston Marathon Champion, Desiree Linden on hand to support and inspire runners, Avina found an extra gear past other competitors finishing the race in a time of 19:20 as she became the youngest female to ever win a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series 5K event. Baxter Arguinchona from Cardiff, California took home the men’s 5K race with a time of 16:59.  (06/05/2018) Views: 2,019 ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Meseret Defar won the women's Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Meseret Defar of Ethiopia won the women's Synchrony Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday while Titus Ekiru of Kenya upset Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia in the men's race.  The elite runners in the half and full marathon had finished long before the race was halted for about 10 minutes and rerouted after a police officer accidentally shot himself in the leg while pursuing a hit-and-run suspect who pointed a weapon at police and was eventually arrested on the roof of a parking structure near the finish line in downtown.  Defar, a two-time Olympic champion in the 5,000 meters, finished in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 26 seconds, well ahead of Jane Kibii of Kenya, who clocked 1:12:00. Kaitlyn James of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was third in 1:13:54.  Ekiru won the men's race in 1:01:02, 16 seconds ahead of Lilesa, who won the silver medal in the marathon at the Rio Olympics. Josphat Kipchirchir of Kenya was third in 1:02:21. (06/04/2018) Views: 1,378 ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia's Defar queen of the 5,000 has sights in the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon

Meseret Defar donated her 2004 Olympic 5,000-meter gold medal to a church museum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She was 20 years old when that one was draped around her neck in Athens. Eight years later at the London Games, Defar became the only woman to win two gold medals in the 5,000. That medal is on display in the hallway of her Addis Ababa home. Since 2016, when knee pain prevented her from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Games — “That was the most difficult time for me.” — Defar has focused on marathon training. It has been a difficult transition for one of Ethiopia’s most revered runners. Because of recurring knee injuries, she still has not debuted at 26.2 miles. Come Sunday, when nearly 20,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes take to the streets for the 21st Synchrony Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & Half Marathon, Defar will be among them. She’s running the half. If her body cooperates, she hopes to make her marathon debut come fall, likely in Chicago, New York or Berlin.    (06/02/2018) Views: 1,397 ⚡AMP
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Anna Hackenberg will race in Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon after paralyzing accident

Anna Hackenberg suffered punctured lungs, fractured ribs, a broken collarbone and broken leg. She developed pneumonia in the hospital. Her spinal cord was severed, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. Lying in the hospital bed, Hackenberg couldn’t feel her legs when she awoke. She was surrounded by her mother, father, brother and sister. But they didn’t want to deliver the devastating news. A doctor friend, Erin King, was also in the room. “Am I ever going to walk again?” Hackenberg asked King. King summarized the freak accident, then said, “No, you’ll never walk again.” “Well then,” Hackenberg said, “I will be a great swimmer.” Hackenberg, 31, was training for the Synchrony Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon when the accident occurred on April 13, 2017. Since then, she has swum, tried surfing, snow skied, practiced yoga, and hit golf balls. On Sunday, her arms cranking a hand-cycle wheelchair, Hackenberg will attend to unfinished business, racing in the 21st Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. At first, she planned to tackle the event’s half marathon. Asked why she would double the challenge, Hackenberg, sitting in her Little Italy apartment, her 13-pound rescue dog Max perched on her lap, smiled and said, “Why not?” (06/01/2018) Views: 1,421 ⚡AMP
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