SAN DIEGO – Runners took to Balboa Park on Sunday morning for the main event of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, a beloved San Diego event that also creates significant road closures residents should be aware of.
The marathon and half marathon started at 6:45 a.m. after a brand new 5 km run for the running series that started on Saturday. Sunday runners will start from Sixth Ave and Quince St in Balboa Park and pass through Hillcrest, North Park and Normal Heights before the marathon stops from the half marathon just past mile 8. The marathon course also passes through Mission Hills and Old Town before the two. The distances end in the city center, according to the organizers.
Check out this interactive course map to get a better idea of where runners will be heading and the variety of pit stops on offer along the way (including live musical performances):
More detailed maps are available here for the marathon and half marathon.
Road closures will be significant and some freeway ramps were also blocked early on Sunday.
- Check the closures of the freeway ramps here, including National Highway 163, Interstate 5, Interstate 8, Interstate 15, and Interstate 805
- Check road closures here, covering a wide range of neighborhoods from North Park to Normal Heights, Hillcrest, Mission Hills and downtown
- This brochure offers more general alternative routes for your neighborhood of the city, especially those bordering Balboa Park and throughout Mid-City
- Plan ahead with this general information page, including public transport information, more detailed route maps and parking / transport options
The COASTER train will offer a special service for the marathon with an arrival time of 5:01 am at the Santa Fe depot. The first trains are also scheduled by MTS for the three tram lines with numerous transit centers allowing free parking.
Runners will be cheered on by live cheering groups and teams with new entertainment for the 2021 race, including local drag queens and presenter and Top Gun impersonators. Race finishes will celebrate with their friends and family at the Finish Line Festival at Waterfront Park with music and entertainment.
This year’s end-of-race medals are inspired by the neighborhoods on the course. The marathon medal design is based on Hillcrest, while the half marathon medal represents North Park and the 5K medal design has the famous California Tower and Dome.
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