Pre-race tips for runners ahead of the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon weekend in San Antonio


SAN ANTONIO – Can you feel the excitement? The carb-fest, the expo and the start lines are right around the corner.

Thousands of runners will hit the street this weekend for the Rock 'n' Roll marathon and half-marathon Sunday, and the 10K and 5K on Saturday.

But before runners take their marks — and before the pain — they need to check off some tasks to make sure they are fully ready for the miles ahead of them.

Road closures, parking: What to know ahead of the Rock ‘n’ Roll SA marathon, half-marathon weekend

Here is a list of tips for runners, either on their first or their 10th race, to know before the race and on the big day itself.

Before the race

Set up your run tracker: Friends and family of runners can see their progress on the course with a running tracker app.

The app provides pace, time and location in real-time, and family and friends can receive push alerts on progress made.

It is available for both iOS and Android.

Find your bib number: Runners can check their bib numbers online before picking up their packets.

Race organizers encourage athletes to bring their bib numbers when they check-in at the expo.

Expo: Runners can pick up their bibs and packets at the Health & Fitness Expo at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center starting Friday.

It will be open to the public at noon-7 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.

Participants must pick up their own packets unless the runner is under 18 years old.

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Pace teams: Runners can meet with pacers at the Pace Team booth at the expo.

Pace times for the half-marathon include 1:25, 1:30, 1:35, 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30 and 2:45.

Pace times for the marathon include 3:25, 3:30, 3:45, 3:55, 4:00, 4:20, 4:30 and 5:30.

Peek at the route before you race: Running experts encourage athletes to run, walk or drive the route of their race so they can get a better sense of hills and turns.

The marathon and half-marathon courses will start downtown and head north to Brackenridge Park before coming back to downtown. They will split after mile 11.

Contrary to last year, the marathon course will stray from South Side, and instead stretch east to Jefferson Heights and Southside Lions Park.

Get enough sleep: Athletes should get at least eight hours of sleep the night before the race, according to Runners World.

Prepare your outfit: Bibs for the marathon and half-marathon include trackers on the back. Runners are asked to place the bibs on the front of their bodies.

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Relax: Runners should stay off their feet as much as they can before the race, meaning sightseeing from out-of-towners should be placed on hold until after the run.

Watch what you eat: The carb-a-thon is coming, but runners should eat carbs in increments throughout the day rather than all at once at night, according to Runners World.

Race day

Stick to what you know: Running experts never encourage wearing new shoes or other garments, or trying new drinks on race day. Athletes should stick to their normal routine, according to Runners World.

Arrive early: The start and finish lines for the 5K and 10K are about one mile away, and several roads in the area will be closed Saturday morning. Both of these races will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Sunset Station and end at Travis Park.

The start and finish lines for the half- and full-marathons are closer together, but more streets will be closed Sunday morning for these races. Both distances start at 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Market and Alamo streets and finish at the southeastern edge of Hemisfair.

Google Maps will not show any road closures on race day, according to the Rock 'n' Roll site.

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Road closures for either day and course maps can be found on the Rock 'n' Roll website.

Portable toilets will be available near the start line.

Parking: No street parking will be allowed along the courses.

The Alamodome will offer parking on both days for $20, but a full map of city-owned parking garages is available online.

Where to eat: The post-race meal is always the biggest reward. Dozens of restaurants will be open in the downtown area Sunday and Saturday, but a more specific list of popular brunch and lunch options can be found here.

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