Rock 'n' Roll Marathon beat begins at expo
Posted April 10, 2015
Updated April 11, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — The Rock 'n' Roll Health and Fitness Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center is the first of a weekend of events to welcome some 8,000 participants in the city's second Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon.
While the race is not until Sunday morning, thousands poured into town Friday to pick up their bibs, talk to gear vendors and learn about the race's charity partner, the V Foundation.
"We want to acquaint them with the V Foundation, tell them about the important work that we're doing that they are helping to support. We also have some very cool merchandise that we're selling at our booth," said the organization's vice president of communications, Sherrie Mazur.
Cheryl Crawford is among a rapidly growing segment of distance runners - African American women. She said groups like Black Girls Run were started to tackle the growing problem of obesity in the African American community.
"I'm excited about the marathon because I like to work out," Crawford said.
James Gerdts and LaRee Johnson said they are both attempting to run a marathon in every state.
"It's really about adventure, a lot of great places to see," Gerdts said. "We got our kids involved in picking out new marathons for us to do based on where they are and how interesting they will be."
The Expo – open from Noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday – is a place for runners who are unfamiliar with Raleigh to get their bearings, but it is also open to the public.
Runners from all 50 states and 10 countries are expected to participate in Sunday's two races which start on South Salisbury Street at West Davie Street in downtown Raleigh and finish on Fayetteville Street at East Davie Street.
Afterward, they will be treated to a street party and concert by Smash Mouth.
Race route will redirect Sunday traffic
The event will have a major impact on traffic for non-runners Sunday morning. From 6 a.m. until about 2 p.m., the race closes much of downtown Raleigh, parts of Hillsborough Street, Western Boulevard and Avent Ferry Road and major portions of North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus.