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Rock ‘N’ Roll ½ Marathon

September 1, 2013
07:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 24th Street and Atlantic Avenue
(800) 311-1255

Fast and flat and featuring a running finish along this coastal Virginia city’s beachfront boardwalk, the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon is one of the country’s most popular half-marathon road race events, typically drawing a field of about 10,000 to 12,000 runners each September to a race that celebrates its 13th annual running over the 2013 Labor Day weekend.

While they’re out on the course, runners encounter local bands playing from stages set up throughout the race, from the starting line near the Virginia Beach Convention Center all the way down to Camp Pendleton and out to the Oceanfront Boardwalk, where the finish line lies. For the 2012 race, the event also added for the first time a 3.1-mile “mini marathon.”

Largely because it’s run along a coastal route, this point-to-point is mostly fast and flat, from the starting line all the way through the middle of the course to the finish. From the starting line near the convention center, at 19th and Parks Avenue, the race takes runners along 19th Street for several blocks until the intersection with Pacific Avenue, where runners then turn right and head south for a long straightaway within just a couple blocks of the nearby beach.

This portion of the race course follows Pacific Avenue as it turns into General Booth Boulevard, which runners follow southward all the way down to the Camp Pendleton military base. After making the turn at Prosperity Road and heading back northward along Prosperity toward Birdneck Road — and past the trees and green fairways of Red Wing Lake Golf Course on the right — runners follow the course as its winds through several twists and turns through the base, exiting back onto General Booth Boulevard for the run back north toward the beach.

Runners follow this stretch of the course all the way up to the intersection with 14th Street, passing by the waters of Virginia Beachs’ Lake Rudee and Lake Holly on the left along the way. The course turns quickly onto 14th and then proceeds for just one block before turning right again onto Atlantic Avenue, which runners follow until it dead ends near the Rudee Inlet and turns around again, and then heads along the boardwalk for the final stretch toward the finish line, where race organizers add there will be plenty of beer and other refreshments awaiting the runners.

In addition to the individual half marathon, for the race will also host a half marathon relay for teams of two runners each, with men’s, women’s and co-ed teams. The race will have a course time limit of 4 hours, which means that runners will need to finish the race within the time limit or leave the course. (Note that this means from their personal chip time, not 4 hours from the starting gun time.)

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