Runners will pack central San Diego streets again Sunday as San Diego’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon returns to its early June schedule.
The race resumed after its pandemic pause late last year, in October, with a new look and name. Root your favorite runner(s) on or just head out to see the competitors, crowds and other entertainment. But for motorists, there will be closures. Here’s the basics:
Runners and spectators can count on sunny and mild conditions, with highs expected to reach 68 Sunday, rising just a couple degrees from Saturday.
5K – A Day Early
Saturday matters because first up, there’s the 5K at Balboa Park, starting at 7 a.m. at President’s Way and Park Boulevard, heading north to Laurel Street and cutting through the park. Runners and walkers move on to Sixth Avenue before reaching the finish line on Balboa Drive.
Courses for Race Day
On Sunday, runners in both the full and half marathons kick off the day on near the northwest side of Balboa Park at 6:15 a.m. Spectators are welcome – cheering is free! – but motorists face many detours until the afternoon.
The race routes extend from the park through Hillcrest and east to Normal Heights to start, before runners on the shorter route shift to the south, through North Park and along Pershing Drive to the finish line on Union and Ash streets.
Marathon runners will double back through North Park all the way west to Mission Bay, before heading through Linda Vista and University Heights on the way back south past the park to the downtown finish line.
Most road closures and detours – including parts of state Route 163 and Interstate 5 – will be in effect from 5:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Police and volunteers will begin with soft closures along the entire route.
A few of the major affected streets include University Avenue, Adams Avenue, 30th Street, Sea World Drive, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Tecolote Road and North Harbor Drive.
In addition, Sixth Avenue and other streets near Balboa Park will close earlier, at 2 a.m., but re-open by 10 a.m.
Parking will be blocked off in some cases too. Streets will reopen on a rolling basis once the last participant has passed and volunteers have removed all course materials.
The Metropolitan Transit System has added service for the marathon, starting at 4 a.m., including the Green, Blue and Orange trolley lines. Officials suggest the Green Line for spectators – its County Center/Little Italy stop is five blocks from the finish.
They also note that the Green Line stops at Old Town, Morena/Linda Vista and Fashion Valley offer prime viewing spots, with time to jump back aboard the Trolley to see the finish.
Nearly 20 bus lines, though, must make detours due to street closures. For a list of additional Sunday service and detours, see the MTS marathon page.
Enjoy performances throughout the route, from a variety of bands, impersonators and DJ’s. See the marathon list for which mile marker to choose. And there’s more! Head to Waterfront Park at 10:45 a.m. for the Finish Line Festival with headliner Matisyahu, along with a game zone, beer garden and food trucks.