All smiles: Rock 'n' Roll Marathon runners cross finish line in Raleigh
Posted March 31
Updated April 2
Raleigh, N.C. — Big, breathless smiles were on the faces of thousands of participants who crossed the finish line after running half and full marathons on Sunday morning.
In its 20th year, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is visiting Raleigh for a fourth time, with races ranging from 5K to a full marathon.
More than 8,500 participants – representing all 50 states and eight foreign countries – were registered to run Sunday morning in the race that starts in downtown Raleigh and ends with a concert and a party.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh is known to runners for its beautiful, if hilly, tree-lined course, and to Raleigh residents for widespread traffic disruptions.
The large event brings people of all ages from all walks of life together, including a 70-year-old runner celebrating his birthday and a man who traveled to Raleigh all the way from Kenya just to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.
Edwin Kibowen finished first place in the half-marathon route. "I feel great," said Kibowen, who is in the United States for the first time. "I enjoyed the race. I thought this was a [great] opportunity to take to visit the U.S."
The ALS Association of North Carolina is the featured charity for the race. "This means the world to us," said Mary Luper, a board member for the organization who has the disease herself. "Getting out awareness of ALS, having people support us and trying to get more funding for research is my goal. This is awesome and we can't appreciate it enough."
Area motorists should expect road closures, especially within the square bordered by McDowell, Hargett, Fayetteville and South streets, where roads will close as early as 3 a.m. Sunday. Most other roads will be closed by 6 a.m. and will reopen as runners pass.
The race begins on Fayetteville Street at E. Davie Street and heads towards the historic Capitol Building before cruising by some of Raleigh’s most charming and historic areas. The journey ends at the new finish line on McDowell Street with a view of the Cree Shimmer Wall just outside of Red Hat Amphitheater.
After the race, runners and fans jam at the Finish Line Festival, headlined by '90s alternative rockers Cracker. The concert is free and open to the public.
|Road||Side Closed||Closed From||Closed To||Time Closed||Time Open|
|Davie St||whole road||Salisbury St||Wilmington St||4/1/17, 8:00 AM||4/2/17, 10:00 AM|
|Fayetteville St||whole road||Martin St||Lenoir St||4/1/17, 8:00 AM||4/2/17, 10:00 AM|
|Cabarrus St||whole road||McDowell St||Gale St||4/1/17, 8:00 AM||4/2/17, 5:00 PM|
|Lenoir St||whole road||McDowell St||Salisbury St||4/1/17, 10:00 AM||4/2/17, 5:00 PM|
|Lenoir St||whole road||Dawson St||McDowell St||4/1/17, 10:00 AM||4/2/17, 5:00 PM|
|McDowell St||whole road||Hargett St||South St||3:00 AM||3:00 PM|
|Davie St||whole road||Dawson St||Salisbury St||3:00 AM||3:00 PM|
|Cabarrus St||whole road||Dawson St||Salisbury St||3:00 AM||3:00 PM|
|Salisbury St||whole road||Martin St||Lenoir St||3:00 AM||10:00 AM|
|Lenoir St||whole road||Salisbury St||Wilmington St||3:00 AM||10:00 AM|
|Fayetteville St||whole road||W Martin St||W Hargett St||3:00 AM||8:30 AM|
|Hargett St||whole road||Fayetteville St||Salisbury St||6:00AM||8:30 AM|
|McDowell St||whole road||Hargett St||Jones St||6:00AM||8:30 AM|
|W Jones St||whole road||N McDowell St||N Wilmington St||6:00 AM||8:30 AM|
|N Wilmington St||whole road||W Jones St||E North St||6:00 AM||8:30 AM|
|E North St||whole road||N Wilmington St||N Blount St||6:00 AM||8:30 AM|
|N Blount St||whole road||E North St||MLK Blvd||6:00 AM||8:45 AM|
|MLK Blvd||westbound||Blount St||Chavis Way||6:00 AM||8:45 AM|
|Chavis Way||whole road||MLK Blvd||E Davie St||6:00 AM||9:00 AM|
|E Davie St||whole road||Chavis Way||S Bloodworth St||6:00 AM||9:00 AM|
|S/N Bloodworth St||whole road||E Davie St||Oakwood Ave||6:00 AM||9:00 AM|
|Oakwood Ave||whole road||S Bloodworth St||Watauga St||6:00 AM||9:30 AM|
|Watauga St||whole road||Oakwood Ave||Brookside Dr||6:00 AM||9:30 AM|
|Brookside Dr||whole road||Watauga St||Glascock St||6:00 AM||9:45 AM|
|Glascock St||whole road||Brookside Dr||Wake Forest Rd||6:00 AM||9:30 AM|
|Wake Forest Rd||whole road||Glascock St||Mordecai Dr||6:00 AM||10:00 AM|
|Delway St||whole road||Mordecai Dr||N Blount St||6:00 AM||10:00 AM|
|N Blount St||whole road||Delway St||E Peace St||6:00 AM||10:00 AM|
|E/W Peace St||westbound||N Blount St||W Johnson St/Bellwood Dr||6:00 AM||10:30 AM|
|Clark Ave||westbound||W Johnson St/Bellwood Dr||Gardner St||6:00 AM||10:45 AM|
|Pogue St||whole road||Clark Ave||Everett Ave||6:00 AM||10:45 AM|
|Everett Ave||whole road||Pogue St||Gardner St||6:00 AM||10:45 AM|
|Gardner St||whole road||Everett Ave||Hillsborough St||6:00 AM||10:45 AM|
|Hillsborough St||whole road||Gardner St||Faircloth St||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Hillsborough St||Eastbound lanes||Faircloth St||Main Entrance Meredith College||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Main Campus Road Meredith College||whole road (out and back)||Hillsborough St||Adminstration Build loop||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Hillsborough St||whole road||Faircloth St||Pullen Rd||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Pullen Road||whole road||Hillsborough St||Western Blvd||6:30 AM||11:30 PM|
|Western Blvd||eastbound||Nazareth St||Hunt Dr||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Nazareth St||whole road||Western Blvd||Centennial Pkwy||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Centennial Pkwy||northbound||Nazareth St||Oval Dr||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
|Oval Dr||northbound||Centennial Pkwy||The Oval||6:30 AM||11:30 AM|
Be prepared to pay for parking
Those participating in the marathon can park in designated downtown garages. Those decks will charge a fee, and cars will be charged as they exit the garage.
Police warn against using GPS to get to the start/finish line, as streets will be closed. Police will be in place directing traffic, or drivers can use the Waze app to find available routes.
Race organizers recommend that runners be dropped off downtown by 5:30 a.m.
Drop-off points are set at Wilmington and Jones streets for access from the north and at Wilmington and South streets for those coming from the north.