The 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon ready to start. Photo courtesy Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon via Facebook

The inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K kicked off Saturday morning near Balboa Park, part of a weekend of festivities leading up to Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

The new running event began at 7 a.m. at Sixth Avenue and Palm Street, on the west side of the park. The course will take runners up and down Sixth Avenue and finish on Balboa Drive.

A health and fitness expo associated with the races will be held Saturday at the San Diego Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Also on Saturday, San Diego-based distance running champion Meb Keflezighi is scheduled to speak to graduates of Francis Parker School in Linda Vista. The Boston and New York marathon champion and Olympic silver medalist plans to compete in the half-marathon race on Sunday.

Because of the crowds expected on Sunday, the Metropolitan Transit System is scheduling extra trolleys Sunday and offering mobile ticketing via a free app available at www.sdmts.com/mTicket.asp. Six special trolleys will run between 4 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. from Qualcomm Stadium, where free parking is available.

— City News Service

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