Thousands of runners hit the pavement for 2023 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, half-marathon

More than 18,000 runners signed up for the weekend races, organizers say

After months of training, thousands of runners hit the streets in downtown San Antonio on Sunday for the 2023 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon.

Getting to the start line was nerve-wracking for Josue Gonzalez.

The 27-year-old from Laredo said Sunday’s marathon was his first.

”I’m just going to try and finish,” said Gonzalez. “Not trying to break any records.”

At every mile, runners are greeted by crowds cheering them on.

”I’ve done it before and being in those shoes and just watching all these athletes, knowing what’s gone into all this effort to make it here today,” said Andrea, who came to support a friend from Houston. “It’s really exciting and exhilarating to see them living out their dreams.”

The most thrilling moment for the runners is crossing the finish line.

“Tired, but amazing,” said Oscar Gonzalez after completing the half-marathon. “Just going through that thing is just unexplainable.”

Two San Antonians took the top spot for the men’s and women’s marathon.

”It was a lot of fun,” said Mark Saroni, who finished the 26.2 mile race in 2:31:15. “I had a blast. Felt good the whole day.”

The first place title came as a surprise to Aliese Reus, who said she was pregnant when she last ran the race in 2022.

Reus finished the marathon in 3:10:11.

”I did not expect that at all,” she said. “So it feels pretty good.”

For some, the pride felt at the finish line almost was too much to bear.

Jose De Los Santos, who came from Mexico to race, said he couldn’t believe he broke his personal record time.

“He’s a champion, and I’m so proud of him,” said half-marathon finished Sofia Rojas, who was hugging De Los Santos. “And one day I want to run like him.”

For others, just having a medal hanging around their neck was enough of a victory.

”It feels like a big accomplishment,” said Kaylee Olivas, who finished the half-marathon. “Like the biggest goals in my life. I feel so happy. I feel tired. But we made it.”

About the Authors:

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Alexis Montalbo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.