An estimated 30,000 runners hit San Diego’s streets today for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon.
Marathon runners started at 6:15 a.m. from Sixth Avenue and Quince Street, and followed the 26.2-mile course through Mission Valley, Bay Park, East Mission Bay, Little Italy, downtown San Diego and Balboa Park, then to the finish line at Petco Park.
Ben Bruce was the top men’s finisher with an unofficial time of 02:23:49. Jameson Mora took second place, finishing in 02:27:02.
On the women’s side, Anna Corrigan took home top honors with an unofficial time of 02:44:27, followed by Bonnie Axman who finished in 02:47:37.
Most of the elite athletes ran the 13.1-mile course.
Half-marathon participants set off a about 6:45 a.m., and ran through North Park, Normal Heights and Balboa Park. They also headed toward Petco Park, with Solomon Deksisa finishing first with an unofficial time of 01:00:10 followed by Geoffrey Bundi 16 seconds later.
The men’s side also featured Meb Keflezighi, the San Diegan who in April became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983. Keflezighi was on hand as a pace-setter.
The first female half-marathoner to cross the finish line with a time of 01:09:35 was Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, who finished second in Tokyo, followed three seconds later by three-time Boston winner Rita Jeptoo.
Also in the races were Ryan Hall, the two-time Olympian who is the only American to break the one-hour barrier in a half-marathon, and Dickson Chumba of Kenya, this year’s Tokyo Marathon champion.
Organizers said runners representied all 50 states and 40 countries. A post-race concert will be headlined by Aloe Blacc.
The grand marshal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was to be Jim Ryun, the man who ran the first mile under four minutes 50 years ago. Proceeds will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Numerous road were closed along the route during the morning hours and were expected to reopen around 2 p.m.
The Metropolitan Transit System recommended that customers planning to ride a bus today should leave early because 20 bus routes will be disrupted.
Officials at Lindbergh Field had encouraged travelers to leave early for San Diego’s airport this morning, and to use Interstate 8 and Nimitz Boulevard to get there. North Harbor Drive alongside the airport remained open, but airport access was blocked in the Little Italy and downtown area.
–City News Service