Photos of Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in downtown!

The 2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon is taking place today!

This morning I walked through downtown San Diego to check out the action as a seemingly endless stream of marathon runners approached the finish line.

Many lined the sidewalks cheering on family, friends and complete strangers. Signs filled with encouraging words could be seen everywhere. Bands played music at stations along the race course.

I looked at the faces of the runners and saw dedication, grit, determination. I saw many arms fly upward in triumph when the finish line was only a few strides away.

Enjoy these photos, which show what it’s like to run in and watch the always extremely popular Rock ‘n Roll Marathon!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Faces of victory at Rock ‘n Roll run in San Diego.

Mickey hands greet runners at the 2015 San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon.
Mickey hands greet runners at the 2015 San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.

This morning I headed down through East Village to view the finish of the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. I was rooting for our local running legend Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi, who many years ago went to San Diego High School about a mile from where I live. At 40 years old he’s one of the greatest long distance runners on planet Earth! He was running the half marathon this time. For 2015, United States Track & Field chose this popular San Diego race to be the home of its Masters Half Marathon National Championships.

As I headed over to Park Boulevard and then wound my way south, I saw that the marathoners were well underway. At about the 4 mile mark, their course curled through downtown before heading back up north. Both the full and half marathons ended near Petco Park, and I eventually planted myself one block short of the finish line, at the corner of 13th and J Street. Would Meb win?

Please enjoy some cool photos!

Marathon participants at the mile 4 marker, racing through downtown San Diego.
Marathon participants at the mile 4 marker, racing through downtown San Diego.

Someone is holding up a big Meb face!
Someone is holding up a big Meb face!

Many flags, signs and costumes were seen all along the race course.
Many flags, signs and costumes were seen all along the race course.

Less than a mile from the finish line, no runners have arrived yet.
Less than a mile from the finish line, no runners have arrived yet.

The runners will be crossing this cool Rock 'n Roll Marathon graphic on 13th Avenue.
The runners will be crossing this cool Rock ‘n Roll Marathon graphic on 13th Avenue.

Some photographers sit idle, waiting for the race to come their way.
Some photographers sit idle, waiting for the race to come their way.

LUCK is created in the mind. A crowd has begun to gather not far from the finish line.
LUCK is created in the mind. A crowd has begun to gather not far from the finish line.

One block from the finish, and the half marathon runners should be here in a couple minutes!
One block from the finish, and the half marathon runners should be here in a couple minutes!

Here come Meb Keflezighi and Jordan Chipangama side-by-side! Who will win.
Here come Meb Keflezighi and Jordan Chipangama side-by-side! Who will win?

The top half marathon runners are now arriving on this cloudy San Diego morning.
The top half marathon runners are now arriving on this cloudy San Diego morning.

Faces contain strain, determination and elation as the finish line nears.
Faces contain strain, determination and elation as the finish line nears.

Meanwhile, flowers are being sold to onlookers beside the race route.
Meanwhile, flowers are being sold to onlookers beside the race route.

Here come more runners. Is it the top women's finisher.
Here come more runners. Is it the top women’s finisher?

It's the women's half marathon winner, Eri Hayakawa!
It’s the women’s half marathon winner, Eri Hayakawa!

Triumphant faces at the 2015 San Diego Rock 'n Roll runs.
Many triumphant faces at the 2015 San Diego Rock ‘n Roll runs!

The winner of the men’s half marathon, with a final burst of speed, was Jordan Chipangama at 01:02:24. Meb Keflezighi came in second at 01:02:26, just two seconds behind!

The women’s half marathon winner was Eri Hayakawa at 01:10:47.

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World-class athlete hero needs a helping hand!

Meb Keflezighi, San Diego hero, is Grand Marshall of 2014 Big Bay Balloon Parade.
Meb Keflezighi, San Diego hero, is Grand Marshall of 2014 Big Bay Balloon Parade.

San Diego sports hero Meb Keflezighi seems superhuman when compared to most of us ordinary mortals. Meb’s long-distance running accomplishments are truly legendary. He has been 3-time national champion in cross country, Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, and winner of both the New York City and Boston Marathons. (What’s more, Meb is a terrific human being, who happened to graduate from San Diego High School, about a mile from where I now sit!) But as thousands of onlookers witnessed, even our biggest world-class heroes sometimes need a helping hand!

Meb was chosen to be Grand Marshall of today’s 2014 Big Bay Balloon Parade, a fun event held on San Diego’s Embarcadero in conjunction with the upcoming Holiday Bowl. (He also presided over a 5K run just beforehand.)  Meb rode on the parade’s leading float to great applause. But his ride turned out to be somewhat unusual. Some leg muscle was required…

Elite long-distance runner Meb Keflezighi speaks to 5K race participants.
Elite long-distance runner Meb Keflezighi speaks to 5K race participants before parade.

Meb watches first wave of Bumble Bee 5K run, a special Holiday Bowl-related event.
Meb watches first wave of Bumble Bee 5K run, a special Holiday Bowl-related event.

These guys might not be Meb, but they are giving the race their best effort!
These guys might not be Meb, but they are giving the race their best effort!

Meb awaits start of Big Bay Balloon Parade on the Forever Young float.
Meb awaits start of Big Bay Balloon Parade on the Forever Young float.

But the float's motor doesn't work! Guys have to push it down the parade route!
But the float’s motor doesn’t work! Guys have to push it down the parade route!

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Exciting start to San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon!

People arrive at dawn to participate in Rock 'n Roll Marathon.
People arrive at dawn to participate in Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.

I woke up very early this morning to check out the start of today’s big San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. I’d never been to the event in past years, so the magnitude of the race really floored me. The west part of Balboa Park and many blocks of Sixth Avenue were packed with super energetic humanity!

Here are a bunch of pics!

Dozens of UPS trucks served as the gear check.
Dozens of UPS trucks served as the gear check.

Marathon runners warm up in west Balboa Park.
Marathon runners warm up in west Balboa Park.

San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon corrals fill up.
San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon corrals begin to fill up.

Just minutes before the big marathon starts!
Just minutes before the big San Diego marathon starts!

Thousands are ready to race at Rock 'n Roll Marathon.
Thousands are ready to race at the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.

Athletes With disabilities are first to begin the race!
Athletes with disabilities are first to begin the race!

They're off from the start line!
They’re off from the start line!

Full marathon runners get ready to begin big race.
Full marathon runners get ready to begin their race for glory.

Lots of photographers record the race action.
Lots of photographers record the colorful action.

San Diego Rock 'n Roll full marathoners go!
San Diego Rock ‘n Roll full marathoners go!

Runners start up Sixth Avenue with great excitement.
Runners start up Sixth Avenue with great excitement.

Photos were being taken all over the place.
Photos were being taken all over the place.

Racers pass announcer stand and American flag.
Racers pass announcer stand, San Diego mayor and American flag.

Runners wave at Cameron of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Runners wave at Cameron of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

KUSI reporter Kerri Lane looks bored.
KUSI television reporter Kerri Lane between live shots.

And now I’m hungry for breakfast!  Walking back toward home, I snap a couple more photos!

Half marathoners gather into the corrals for their race.
Half marathoners gather into the corrals for their race.

Late arrivers walk up Sixth Avenue from downtown.
Late arrivers walk up Sixth Avenue from downtown.

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