Runners Ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll

This weekend's race to draw in 32,000 runners, 100,000 spectators

San Diego Jazz Fest (10 of 45)
Alex Matthews

Runners in the Rock and Roll Marathon will get the right-of-way this weekend as they take to the streets of San Diego.

Many roads will be closed for the 32,000 runners, including a section of state Route 163. Closures will be in effect between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some bus and trolley routes will also detour during this time.

The starting line for both the marathon and the half marathon race will be in Hillcrest, on 6th avenue off of Quince St. Runners will begin in intervals starting at 6:15 a.m.

Marathoners will run north past Interstate 8 to Friar’s road, west through Linda Vista, north to Mission Bay, once through Fiesta Island and then finish at Rose Marie Starns South Shores Park in Mission Bay, at the Sea World Entrance. The half marathon is similar, but avoids Mission Bay and Fiesta Island.

In preparation for the race, which organizers say is the most expensive sporting event in San Diego, runners attended a convention to receive health information and final details before the race.

Runners from around the US and Canada raised over $9 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The event itself is expected to draw in millions to San Diego’s economy. Last’s year’s marathon brought in $34 million in direct visitor spending, organizers said.

Several celebrities from the running world will also be competing in the marathons and half marathons. Runners include 2011 Boston Marathon winner Caroline Kilel and 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist and San Diegan Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi.

“It’s great to be in San Diego running a race where I have rode the bus, biked it and ran it,” Keflezighi said. “Finally being able to run it in a race will be a dream come true for me.”

The race is sold out to compete in, but the event itself includes many activities for non-runners such as concerts and a post race party.

Those hoping to meet runners at the finish line are encouraged to park at Qualcomm Stadium and take the west-bound trolley to Morena Linda Vista Stadium. The walk from the trolley stop to the finish line is about a mile.

To accommodate Padres fans busy with the race, Sunday’s game will begin later, at 3:35 p.m.

Like every year, parts of the State Route 163 will be closed, in addition to several other major roads. Most closures and detours will be in effect from 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. See course map

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