Your Guide to the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon


Published on February 27th, 2014

The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Series is one of the best races out there. Here is your guide to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and how to have a lot of fun doing it.


The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is an awesome collection of running events centered on having fun running. Bands, cheerleaders and more fill the courses and thoroughly add the rock and roll to the Rock ‘n’ Roll. The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon is the first of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and has been around since 1998. There have been 93 people who have done every single race in SD—I hope I can spot them along the course.


Between the marathon, half-marathon and relay, about 25,000 people finished last year. If this many people can start and finish, so can you!


Last year, there were just under 50 bands and cheerleading teams along the course. We also love another form of entertainment: Elvis impersonators. There were 200 of them doing the race last year!

Perks for Runners & Walkers

The perks are endless for participants of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.  My favorite: bragging rights.


Bonus Perks

Beautiful course (Starts in Balboa Park, runs along Mission Bay, goes on the 163 highway, finishes at Petco Park)
Listen to cool live bands along the course
Snazzy Brooks Technical Participant Shirt (I love the 2014 design!)
Great Instagram photo opps
Free Health & Fitness Expo entry
Entertainment beyond the bands—cheerleaders, spirit squads, etc
Awesome finishers medal
Amazing people watching along the course
Elvis impersonators
Gear Bag
Official finisher certificates
Free entry into the Finish Line Festival and Post Race Concert

How to Sign Up

Sign up on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Website. Sign up sooner rather than later. One, you want to save a spot least you find it sold out. Two, the price increases over time so it’s way better now than even a month from now (end of March is the next price increase). Want an even bigger discount? Use the discount code ‘HLRUNSSD’ for $10 off!

How to Train

Start early and be consistent is the best advice. Whether you walk or run, this is a fun event and will be a great day for you if you put in miles now. Google marathon training plans or check out this simple one from, click here.

Course Map

Here is the rockin’ course map for the marathon.

The race starts at 6th Avenue and Quince Street. The race finishes at Petco Park.

Best Places on the Course for Selfies

The course is beautiful so selfies can happen anywhere. The best places for selfies are the following:

Start Line (just make sure you’re not obnoxious and stopping traffic flow!)
Balboa Park
With the bands (any of them!)
Little Italy Sign
With Elvis impersonators (any of them!)
Old Town
With the cheerleaders (any of them!)
Mission Bay
Going up the 163 (despite the hill, it’s a thrill!)
Finish Line
Finish Area (you’re ending at Petco Park so there are a lot of spots!)

Be sure to use the hashtag #sdawesome with the race photos for a chance to be featured on my Instagram (@sandiegoisawesome)

How to Win Your Age Division

Be fast. How fast?

For women, you have to be either a 3-hour pace (aka around a 7 minute mile pace) or way under that.
For men, you have to be a 3-hour pace and usually closer to a 2-hour pace (aka closer to a 5 minute mile…the entire time).
If you’re a woman over 65 or a man over 70, then you’re looking to do a 4-hour marathon to ensure a win (aka a little more than a 9 minute mile pace).

Congrats to everyone who’s a contender! For everyone else, realize you’ll have way more fun enjoying the amazing course, entertainment and people than you ever will going this fast.

How to Have Fun with the Race

Don’t try to win your age division!

This race is fun. Every time I don’t do it and go to watch or volunteer, I’m filled with jealousy because it’s such an incredible race. The first step to having fun is to sign up! Then, make sure you train because everything is easier with practice.

How to Have Fun on Race Day

Enjoy the moments
Enjoy the entertainment
Take pictures
Don’t worry about being perfect
Do it with a friend
Wear a costume
Talk to people around you
Use one of the over 500 Port-o-Johns pre-race…you’ll thank me later!

Get Motivated

Motivation is easy. Figure out why you’re running.

Get Involved: Social Media

Rock ‘n’ Roll Series San Diego Website
Rock ‘n’ Roll Series San Diego Facebook
Rock ‘n’ Roll Series San Diego Twitter
Rock ‘n’ Roll Series Instagram
Rock ‘n’ Roll Series Pinterest

Multiple Races and Medals at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series started in San Diego but now spans 7 countries with its 30 races. Wow! The series has a great program, called Heavy Medals, if you plan to do multiple races in the series. Get special medals for multiple races completed and get discount pricing too. Check here for more on the Tour Pass, which allows you to bundle races!

Happy Racing!

Let me know if you’re doing the Rock ‘n’ Roll with me. Find me on Twitter: @knowsandiego.



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Pia P

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