On Nov. 5, the streets of Savannah will be more crowded than usual. In addition to the final day of the 2011 Savannah Film Festival, the Competitor Group is bringing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to downtown Savannah for the first time ever.
Registrations for the Savannah event sold out at 23,000 participants months in advance.
“The level of participation is unprecedented and exceeded all expectations,” said Dan Cruz, one of the media coordinators for the Series.
The Marathon is 26.2 miles long, and for those less venturesome, the Half Marathon is 13.1 miles. In Savannah, participants will be running for large nonprofit organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as 10 other official local charities.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon began in San Diego in 1998, and since then has grown into a nationwide series with events in 18 cities. The series raises money for various nonprofits and promotes fitness and active lifestyles. Over the past 14 years, the Marathon has raised over $258 million for various charities, making it one of the most successful charity fundraising platforms.
“There are plenty of ways to be involved without running,” Cruz said. Anyone can come out to spectate or support the marathon, and those who want to volunteer can sign up through the marathon’s website.
On Nov. 3 and 4, The Health and Fitness Expo will be held at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center; it is free and open to the public. While runners check in, there will be various vendors, interactive clinics, nutritional information and more. On Saturday, Savannah’s best local bands will be performing every mile along the course, and headlining band Carolina Liar will be performing at the finish line in Forsyth Park for participants and spectators — all for free.
Throughout the weekend, more than 40 streets will be closed. Additionally, there will be no parking on all streets along the racecourse. The Rock ‘n’ Roll website provides a list of street closings and times, as well as directions with detours. As for public transportation, buses will still run to the best of their abilities. Some CAT stops will be temporarily closed, but routes will still run throughout the day.
“There are a lot of great things about the Marathon, including rolling clean up, which means as runners cross check points, they break down and streets re-open … there are a few places will have to re-route, but it should be cleared up by the afternoon,” Jeff Smith said , head of SCAD transportation and security.
For more information on what organizers are calling “Savannah’s 26.2 mile block party,” go to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon’s website.Contact Jade Stoner.