New courses await Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, half in Raleigh
The Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon courses should have a little less rock and roll to them in April.
The marathon and half marathon course for the event put on by San Diego-based Competitor Group are new. And Competitor's vice president of running, who happens to be 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi, toured much of the course on Monday during a promotional stop in Raleigh and delivered his stamp of approval.
The full and the half share elevation extremes: About 431 feet near Pullen Park, just short of halfway of the marathon route, and 240 feet at Cameron Village in each race's first 8 miles. Gone from the marathon course are the hill on Edwards Mill Road near PNC Arena and the mentally-challenging out-and-back on Reedy Creek Road that followed it. But as with most distance races situated between the mountains and I-95 in North Carolina, the courses remain rolling ones.
"This is Raleigh, not Kansas, and we can't avoid hills altogether, but runners will absolutely notice an improvement in that regard," said Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, which worked with Competitor to bring the races to the Capital City.
This year marathon runners will loop through the Meredith campus (this might be RNR Raleigh's version of Wellesley), and they'll spend about a mile on a trail at Lake Johnson Park before heading through N.C. State's Centennial Campus on the way back to downtown. (Click here to see the marathon and half marathon course.)
Besides Meredith and State, runners will see the campuses of Shaw, St. Augustine's and William Peace, plus the Governor's Mansion.
Entry fees are $115 for the marathon and $110 for the half, with online registration open through April 5.
Keflezighi and other Competitor officials, including two-time Olympian Alan Culpepper, were in Raleigh on Monday for a news conference and to present the city with SportsTravel magazine's "Best New Sporting Event" national award for 2014.
Contact Eddie Wooten at 373-7093, and follow @EddieWootenNR on Twitter.