ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Thousands of runners will flood the streets of downtown St. Louis Oct. 27 for the third annual Quinn Family Foundation Rock 'n Roll St. Louis Marathon and ½ Marathon. The run benefits Team Activities for Special Kids, and will wrap up with a concert featuring Atlas Genius.
Live, local bands, local cheerleaders, and thousands of spectators will dot the courses, energizing the runners and cheering them on to the finish line. Local bands scheduled to perform for runners along the race route include Various Hands, Featherstone Drive, Laser Panther, Old Salt Union, Sarah Jane & The Blue Note, and Surrender Dorothy.
In addition to the marathon and half marathon, this year's race will also include a new 3.75 mile mini marathon and a two-person half marathon relay. The half marathon relay will split the run into 6.4 mile and 6.7 mile legs. It will offer the same perks and celebrations as the full and half marathon participants.
According to a Rock 'n Roll spokesperson, 29 percent of participants at the 2013 race will be running their first half marathon, and 40 percent will be running their first full marathon. Forty percent of all race participants are traveling from out of state.
Former St. Louis Rams football player Isaac Bruce will be running and complete his first marathon as the team captain of the TASK Force charity racing team. TASK Force has raised more than $2 million from people around the world to provide safe, accessible activities for special needs children in St. Louis.
"For me, this partnership is two-fold. I have joined a team of athletes that focuses on creating an atmosphere where wellness and a healthy lifestyle are priorities, and I'll have a great team to support me as I achieve one of my personal goals - to finish a full marathon," said Bruce. "I look forward to joining my TASK Force teammates from around the world as we train and run together for such a worthy cause."
This year's course will begin at 7 a.m. on Market Street, west of Tucker Boulevard. Runners participating in this Boston Marathon qualifier will pass Busch Stadium, the Old Courthouse, head down Washington Avenue, loop through Saint Louis University's campus, head through The Grove and Tower Grove neighborhoods, before winding around Lafayette Park and heading back downtown to finish at N. 15th Street and Chestnut. Once near the finish line, marathon runners will loop back down Forest Park Avenue, through the Central West End, and log some miles inside Forest Park before heading back downtown.
Atlas Genius will play a free concert near the finish line, where participants can reunite with friends and family and enjoy post-race refreshments. Two other local bands, Perkinoff Brothers and The Madison Letter, will also join Atlas Genius at the finish line festival.
Because the race is taking place in downtown St. Louis, the Central West End, and Forest Park, there will be many road closures motorists will need to be aware of.
Road closure information will be important for anyone coming downtown for World Series Game 4 and pre-game festivities. Some roads will reopen by 2:30 p.m., but parts of Market, Chestnut, and 18th Street will not reopen until 4 p.m. Chestnut Street between N. 15th Street and Tucker Boulevard will be closed until 6 p.m.
Runners who wish to participate in the race but have not yet signed up can register online through Oct. 20 for $115. Registration will be available in-person at the Health Expo the two days before the race for $150.
The Health Expo is Friday and Saturday at America's Center in Hall 5. It is free and open to the public. All runners need to pick up their race packets at this expo. Exhibitors will sell apparel, health and nutrition items, and showcase the latest running technologies.