Local News

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon runs in the way of Palm Sunday

Posted April 6
Updated April 7

— Dot Hoover, a church regular, plans to skip Palm Sunday.

With 12,500 runners making their way through downtown Raleigh – and along her regular route to church – Hoover, 91, plans to stay away from the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

Run Raleigh Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

"I come right downtown, which I come right down Glenwood Avenue," she said.

Many downtown churchgoers are wondering how they’ll get to next weekend’s Palm Sunday services and where they will park. The marathon is expected to affect more than a dozen churches.

The marathon route will take runners around downtown, including: South Blount Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, North Bloodsworth Street, Glascock Street and West Peace Street.

Runners will also hit the pavement on Hillsborough Street past North Carolina State University, Trinity Road, Edwards Mill Road around PNC Arena and Reedy Creek Road.

"There’s going to be a lot of closures and a lot of people down here – a lot of people," said Alissa English, who attends First Baptist Church on Salisbury Street.

English, who has run Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons in other cities, plans to attend church next Sunday – and leave her house 20 minutes earlier than usual.

Affected churches have gotten a head start on what race day will be like for them.

"The race organizers have done a very good job in accommodating the churches and letting the members know how to get to church," said Bill Clarke with First Baptist.

The event's website has a detailed listing of road closures, as well as alternate routes to nearly two dozen churches.

67 Comments

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  • maryallison1 Apr 11, 5:59 p.m.

    So annoyed. My church had to cancel 8:00 a.m. service and No parking for later services and a band in the parking lot next to the church.

  • davmci29 Apr 11, 8:46 a.m.

    I'm running in it, and all these comments make me leary about attending. So many people... View More

    — Posted by JennyB

    jenny B, MANY people from my church ( on the route) are running in it. Don't be leery. While we are disappointed with how RNR initially responded, and that raleigh even allowed it... we FULLY SUPPORT all the runners. I'll be on the street cheering my friends as they run by our church. Dont let our disappointment in the organizers dampen your spirits,

    Sincerely, Marathon runner myself (Just missed qualifying for Boston)

  • davmci29 Apr 11, 8:38 a.m.

    To be clear, there is a way now to attend churhces downtown, But I am tired of the implication that the organizers have been "congenial" with congregations.

    We went to the city for help and they realized they had really screwed up. Then "magically", or more like.. After the Title sponsor WRAL got wind of the "discussion", voila' the RNR committee decided to "work with the local churches. But it doesnt end there... Church communities from other locations warned Raleigh churches that in other cities they also made promises and didn't follow thru. So with diligence, the local community has remained vigilant in pushing RNR to honor their promise. Thankfully the CITY got involved (after they realized what they had accidentally done) and "encouraged" RNR to make changes.

    Good luck to all the racers.

    There are 52 Sundays in a yr. Why pick THIS ONE? Just silly.

  • NC_interest Apr 7, 7:44 p.m.

    I think you really need to go look up the definition of war and hate. And then consider the last... View More

    — Posted by justaconservativeguy

    The laws could easily be construed as hateful with such a low threshold and victim complexes espoused in your examples .

  • sunshine1040 Apr 7, 5:24 p.m.

    Gee I guess there is only one street or road that will get these folks to their church. I have know of rural churches that way but rarely any in town yep may be harder on those with disabilities but I sure other healthy members will help them get there.

  • beastie510 Apr 7, 4:56 p.m.

    Sunday morning in the downtown of a large metropolitan area is the wrong time to invite 12000 runners - and especially on one of the most important Christian holidays. And it's inconsiderate to have amplified bands early in the morning in areas where there are multiple apartments and houses (7:04 am near my place- puh-leeze!) The event planners should be fired for not checking their dates and other activities on this Sunday!

  • trotter2047 Apr 7, 4:28 p.m.

    I agree what's wrong with Saturday

  • Ijaz Fahted Apr 7, 3:38 p.m.

    "Doesn't this event happen every year along this same route?"

    No, this is the first time the Rock... View More

    — Posted by misschris234

    Ok. Was this event planned or advertised in advance or did they spring it on everyone the day... View More

    — Posted by JustOneGodLessThanU

    There are more churches in downtown than there are all of those businesses combined in downtown. Not to mention that on a Sunday those Daycares, Gyms, and other businesses wouldn't even be open until after the marathon started. Not really a strong argument there.

    I find it rather comical that the discussion has broken down into religion and the hate or lack of hate for it. Simply put, there are plenty of other days that this could have been held and while it seems that the organizers did what they were supposed to do the city of Raleigh made the poor decision to pick a busy day for the two dozen churches in downtown.

  • NC Reader Apr 7, 3:25 p.m.

    seems the churchy types hate anyone who doesn't follow their rules or allow them to make the rul... View More

    You are so uninformed if you think that all or most religious people are this way. Do you follow the news? Many of us are strong supporters of separation of church and state, have participated in interfaith dialogue, and/or support equal marriage rights. I'm sorry that my comment is being used over and over as support for the assertion that there is a "war" on Christianity. I don't believe that. I DO believe, however, that it is thoughtless for a marathon that goes by numerous churches to be planned for a Sunday morning. I'd feel the same way if it blocked access to a mosque during prayer times or a synagogue on a Friday evening. Heck, if the marathon had preceded the churches, I'd believe it was thoughtless for a church to decide to have a service in a new building on the route and try to get the race moved.

  • Backpacker Apr 7, 3:17 p.m.

    "when you combine large crowds with alcohol, well that's always a recipe for raucous behavior and arrests."

    Heaven forbid, hide the womenfolk and children in the root cellar. Please, let's not over embellish it,

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