The Rock and Roll Marathon series held its second annual race in Raleigh on April 12. It followed the Health & Fitness Expo presented by Sof Sole on April 10 and 11.
A marathon series that tours the country, the race held was one of the biggest in Raleigh’s annual race cycle and forced thousands of runners down 26.2 miles of downtown roads. All 3 days of the event, runners and volunteers were blessed with wonderful weather to help them along.
It was beautiful and cloudless outside the Raleigh Convention Center at 72 degrees and sunny, a pristine day for vigorous exercise. A horde of volunteers set up a medical tent in a lot diagonally across from the center. Running a marathon is a grueling and occasionally dangerous thing, and anyone who overexerts themselves will need immediate medical attention.
Over 90 volunteers came on April 11th to help set up for the marathon and assist with the Health & Fitness Expo inside the convention center. In addition to helping prepare for the event, they also helped to prepare the runners, handing out race day gear and registering racers.
The volunteers seemed to enjoy their work. “I really enjoyed being here,” said a volunteer, who wishes to remain anonymous. She seemed to summarize the attitude of the whole crowd, who were joking with each other and the runners nearby. A variety of corporations and groups had booths at the exposition, and volunteers occasionally shifted out to enjoy it.
On April 12, the runners finally began. The most hardcore runners were right on the mark for the start of the race, true athletes dedicated to their sport. Almost all the runners were locals; yet the winner clocks in with an impressive time at only 2 hours and 41 minutes–only 40 minutes more than the world record for the marathon.
About 20 minutes after leaders and front runners crossed the line, none other than Smash Mouth began a free concert in the Red Hat amphitheater across the street from the convention center. People enjoyed the music after their success in the race, regardless of whether they could find the strength to stand or not.
The first Rock and Roll marathon was held in 1998. They have helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for charities such as the ASPCA and the St. Jude’s Childrens research hospital. Raliegh is just one of the newer stops on a national tour. There are over 30 annual races in the marathon series, spanning across North America and Europe. For more information, visit their website here.