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What's on Tap

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon: Quick Guide

Posted March 24, 2014
Updated March 21

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Half Marathon medal

— The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, described as a "26.2-mile block party," will be headed through downtown Raleigh in only a few weeks. To help you get ready to run, Out and About has created this quick-guide to the race.

This musically-themed marathon kicks off April 10-12 with a Health and Fitness Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center. Race participants must pick up their packets at the expo. This event is open to the public, so make sure to stop by and check out the latest in running technologies, fitness apparel, health and nutrition info and more.

Team V:

Consider joining Team V, which is raising money for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, founded by the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $115 million in cancer research grants nationwide. Runners can sign up to join Team V on the V Foundation website. In addition to being fully reimbursed for the race entry fee, you can also raise money toward cancer research and enjoy some VIP perks, like pre- and post-race meals and private restrooms.

Course and road closures:

The race starts at 7 a.m. on April 12 on South Salisbury Street between Davie and Cabarrus streets and finishes at West Lenior Street at South Salisbury. See an interactive map of the course and road closures.

Race organizers have been working with downtown Raleigh churches to develop alternate routes for worshippers headed to area churches. They have posted individual directions for dozens of congregations and will have officers directing traffic to and from houses of worship along the route.

Map: Routes change for 2015

Runners who competed last year's marathon will notice some charges this year to the route. The marathon still begins and ends in the heart of downtown Raleigh, and runners will wind their way east to Chavis Park, north through the Oakwood neighborhood before making a turn to the west. The course passes William Peace University and Cameron Village. The revised route adds segments through N.C. State University's Centennial Campus and Meredith College campuses, as well as around Lake Johnson.

Gear check info:

Before you enter your assigned corral, drop-off your pre-race/post-race clothing and belongings at the Gear Check. Each participant will receive a large, durable gear bag at the Health and Fitness Expo when you pick up your packet. Gear Check trucks will be arranged alphabetically and by truck number near the Start Line. Attach your gear tag to your gear bag before you leave it with the Gear Check crew. After the race, reclaim your checked bag at the designated Gear Check area. Do not leave any valuables, cash or jewelry in your gear bag. Remember to claim your bag before close of the Finish Line Festival on race day.

Wave Start/Corral Systems

In an effort to provide everyone with as comfortable a run as possible, the Wave Start has been incorporated in most Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series events. Participants are assigned to an appropriate corral based on the projected finishing time submitted on their entry form. Typically, there are multiple waves assigned to several of the finishing times. All spectators should be aware of this when organizing their viewing schedule for the day.

When the gun fires, the first corral will be released. The rest of the participants will be held at the start line. At pre-determined intervals the next corral will be released.

By using this staggered starting method, the pack will be spread out and allow every runner to settle into their racing rhythm from the first step right to the finish line.

Course Time Limits:

To ensure that roads reopen to vehicular traffic at the scheduled times, the course time limits will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Participants must maintain a pace faster than the course time limits in order to complete the race on closed city streets. A cut-off location will be enforced on the course; runners or walkers who do not reach the cut-off location by this time will be stopped and shuttled to the finish line area. Please note – this is timing tag time, not gun time. Course time limits begin when the last participant and Tail Vehicle cross the start line.

When and where to watch:

Prime spectator times are between 9 and 10 a.m. as the bulk of the half-marathoners cross the finish line and between 10 a.m. and noon as the marathoners complete the course. The winning runners are expected to complete the half marathon in about an hour and the full marathon in about 2 1/2 hours.

Check back closer to race day for some suggested spots to view the marathon.

Where to park:

Last year, the city released a list of three parking decks that officials recommend runners, families and friends use: (Check back closer to race-time for an update)

  • Blount Street Deck, at 314 S. Blount St.
  • Moore Square Deck, at 233 S. Wilmington St.
  • Wilmington Station Deck, at 115 S. Wilmington St.

Roads will be closed starting at 5 a.m. April 12 and city officials recommend that those seeking to park downtown be in place by that time.

Roads will open to traffic after runners have cleared the area. Race organizers said they expect all roads to be open after 4 p.m.

Finish line:

After the race, meet up with your loved ones at the Family Reunion area and relish in your post race accomplishment with refreshments and live music at the finish line stage. With so many people competing, you should designate a meet-up location before the race. The Family Reunion area will post tall, clearly-marked signs by letter (A – Z), so be sure to coordinate and plan to meet at a pre-determined letter.


Post-Race Concert at the Finish Line Festival:

It wouldn’t be rock ‘n’ roll without a live concert at the finish line where you can celebrate your accomplishment with some of rock music’s favorite acts! Rock band Smash Mouth will be headlining the concert at Red Hat Amphitheater, which is free and open to the public.

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  • ahkeephan66 Apr 12, 2014

    qtc are you serious? one sunday out of 52? coach v might not approve but im sure a higher power,GOD, WOULD APPROVE OF IT.RUNNING TO FUND CANCER RESEARCH IS GOOD BUT NOT IF IT IS HELD IN YOUR AREA.THAT'S JUST BEAUTIFUL LOL! DON'T EVEN SAY YOUR CHRISTIAN.

  • QTC Apr 11, 2014

    I am very disappointed that City of Raleigh is allowing this race and that WRAL is the sponsor. These events always are a major inconvenience for stores and residents along the race route. Scheduling this on a major religious day is an insult to places of worship. Despite all the "alternate routes" and time limitations, this is a traffic nightmare in the making and it is just another reason to avoid downtown Raleigh. Rather than closing the same streets weekend after weekend, is there not a rural setting where races can be held? I doubt Coach V would approve of this disruption to people's lives--regardless of it being for a good cause.