It's the last year of the Humana Rock 'N' Roll races in Raleigh, and thousands of runners from all over the country — and their fans — are expected to descend in downtown this weekend.
There are 5k and 1 mile runs in Dorothea Dix Park Saturday with the Half Marathon slated to kick off at 7 a.m. Sunday. (The fourth and last marathon was in 2017.)
And as the name of the event indicates, there's a big lineup of music.
The Half Marathon will feature music of all kinds — from pep bands to Chapel Hill's Cosmic Punk — stationed along the route.
At the finish line, head to Red Hat Amphitheater where South Carolina indie rock band will take the stage. North Carolina's Caleb Caudle will round out the set.
Expect lots of roads to be closed for the 5,000-plus runners and spectators.
Here's what else you should know about this weekend. For more, go to runrocknroll.com/raleigh.
On Saturday, the 5k race starts at 8 a.m. with the 1-mile run/walk at 9:15 a.m. at Dorothea Dix Park off Blair Drive. The 5k will wind through a neighborhood off Western Boulevard. The finish line is at Barbour Drive, and Johnny White & The Elite Band will play at the finish line festival.
A Health and Fitness Expo, which starts Friday, continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The Half Marathon
The main event is Sunday, when runners start their half marathon at 7 a.m. at Fayetteville and East Davie streets. Organizers say the 13.1-mile course features a new route with fewer hills and new neighborhoods to run through.
The route heads south along Person Street before it heads north into Mordecai and Oakwood neighborhoods. The course then heads south and then west along West Morgan Street and Hillsborough Street and into the Rose Garden at Raleigh Little Theater.
The home stretch takes runners along Pullen Road, Western Boulevard and neighborhoods off Western before it heads up South Saunders Street, back into downtown and the Red Hat Amphitheater.
A detailed course map can be found here.
Who is running?
Over 5,000 people will be running this year from 48 states and 17 countries, according to organizers. That includes the oldest runner, an 86-year-old man from Lake Waccamaw, and the youngest runner, a 12-year-old boy from from Erwin. Sixty percent of the runners are women.
All the music is free. That includes along the route and at Red Hat Amphitheater. (If you're a late sleeper, note that a band might be in your neighborhood.)
Doors open at Red Hat Amphitheater at 7:30 a.m. Kate Rhudy performs at 8 a.m. with Susto at 9:45 a.m. and Caleb Caudle at 11:15 a.m.
What about road closings?
Most road closures are between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.
That includes much of downtown Raleigh, Hillsborough Street, Western Boulevard (eastbound only) and parts of Lake Wheeler Road.
For a complete list, go here.
Did someone say pasta?
Hargett Street will be shut down in front of Raleigh Times Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. for the third annual Rockin’ Raleigh Spaghetti Dinner. Raleigh Times and Gravy will team up to help runners carb load before the big race. For $10 a plate, you'll get spaghetti and meatballs, garlic knots and a kale Caesar salad. The event is free to attend.