The Rock ' n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon are in their third year in Raleigh, and this year a third race, a 5K kicked off the weekend series in Dorothea Dix Park.
Temperatures at race time were in the low 40s under sunny, clear skies, weather that Katie Holmes, event manager for Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh, called, "perfect running weather."
More than 2,000 runners registered for the 5K. The starting gun was at 8 a.m., and by 9 a.m. it was all over but the photographs.
For many weekend warriors, Saturday marked their first stab at a competitive race.
"I'm running my second 5K with my dad," said Autumn McGee, "This is his first one."
"I guess I'm lazy," her father, Sean McGee replied with a laugh.
Pam Edgerton saw the 5K distance as an accessible way to join the Rock 'n' Roll festivities. Others, about 900 people according to Holmes, had registered for both the 5K and one of Sunday's longer races.
"If runners run today and the half or the full, they get a third medal," Holmes explained.
Bonnie Holtz is one of those. "It's all about the bling and the free T-shirts," she said.
Holtz, from Virginia, is among thousands of out-of-towners in Raleigh for the Rock 'n' Roll series, which is sponsored locally by WRAL.
"I try to run in all the different states," she said. "I came down here to run in North Carolina."
Others were running for a cause. The V Foundation is the featured charity of the Rock 'n' Roll races.
The festivities continued in downtown Raleigh throughout the day with live music outside the convention center and a free Health and Fitness Expo.