Next year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon will offer only half-marathon and 5K distances, organizers said Tuesday.
The news came in the for-profit company’s announcement that registration opens Wednesday for the events April 7-8, 2018.
“The excitement and energy in the running community continues to shift to shorter distances, and that’s where we will focus our energy,” Alex Bennett, vice president of events for the series, said in a statement.
“We believe our decision to elevate the half marathon as our main event is a positive one and will provide a better experience for both participants and the community, while bringing runners from around the world to visit Raleigh.”
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In 2017, 799 people finished the Raleigh marathon, 3,873 completed the half-marathon and 1,770 ran the 5K distance, said Dan Cruz, a spokesman for Rock ’n’ Roll Raleigh.
The year before, 6,200 runners signed up for the 13.1-mile half-marathon, and 1,500 signed up for the full marathon, according to race organizers.
Raleigh’s inaugural Rock ’n’ Roll race in 2014 drew 12,500 registrants.
To get people enrolled for its fifth year in Raleigh, Rock ’n’ Roll is offering special presale pricing for the half marathon and 5K for the first 1,000 runners, the release said. Half marathon registrations will be available for $50 and 5K registrations for $30 at RunRocknRoll.com.
By focusing on the half-marathon and 5K, Rock ‘n’ Roll will put more resources into the programming and entertainment aspects of the event, Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said in the Rock ’n’ Roll press release.
“Rock ’n’ Roll has a proven track record of doing this successfully in cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, Virginia Beach and others,” Dupree said.s
In addition to the two races, the series features a Health & Fitness Expo hosted by the Raleigh Convention Center, with a beer garden and live music. Local bands are stationed about every mile along the race course.