San Diego

Thousands of Runners Take Over San Diego Streets for Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon

NBC Universal, Inc.

People from all over the world were in San Diego Sunday for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

The race is back after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon is one of San Diego’s largest sporting events and plays an important role in San Diego’s tourism economy.

“The energy is crazy. There are people from everywhere,” said Brittney Cheatham, a marathon spectator.

Chetham is cheering on her friend who flew in from Missouri. According to race organizers, runners come from all 50 states, and from 37 different countries. The out-of-town visitors mean tourism dollars for the local economy.

“We’re going to hit all the local places. Let’s go get coffee local, let’s get drinks local. It’s great for the city and great for each other,” said Lindsey McElyea, a marathon spectator.

The marathon had 22,000 runners registered for this year's race. That is 6,000 fewer runners than in 2019, but all the visitors will likely still have a financial impact.

Many of the runners and their loved ones are booking hotels. That brings in much-needed taxes and fees to San Diego.

“I think it’s really important to support local. Further down the street, there are some entertainers coming to support the runners. Yeah, I think it’s really nice,” said Jonny Saki, a spectator who was enjoying the race from a coffee shop in Hillcrest.

The event and tourism industry is still recovering from the worst of the pandemic, but large sporting events like the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon show San Diego is ready to welcome visitors back.

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