Savannah gets ready to Rock 'n' Roll for seventh consecutive year

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The 7th annual Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon and Half Marathon will take over the streets of Savannah this weekend.

More than 15,000 runners from 50 states and 15 different countries are expected to converge on the Hostess City to participate in the big event.

Race weekend will kick off on Thursday, Nov. 2 with the two-day Health and Fitness Expo and Packet Pick-up event at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island. Expo hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday (11/2), and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday (11/3).

On Saturday, the Marathon and Half Marathon will begin at Bay and Bull streets at 7:20 a.m., and will both end at Forsyth Park. Afterwards, there will be a post-race concert in the park featuring Fitz and Tantrums.

Then on Sunday, the Rock 'n' Roll 5K will step off at 1 p.m. at Daffin Park, and a one-mile run that's perfect for the kids will begin at 2:30 p.m., also at Daffin.

"This is a showcase weekend. The weather's perfect, the city's beautiful. It's a showcase weekend to invite people to come back the rest of the year," said Joe Marinelli, President, Visit Savannah. "Savannah's never getting a Final Four. We're never getting a World Series or Super Bowl. That's what this is for us."

"It's fun; not just on an operational side to get this race produced and make it fun for the runners, but we love coming here and being tourists ourselves; eating all the wonderful food and showing it all off to our runners," said race manager, Miyoao Beetem.

As expected, many road closures come with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Residents can expect traffic delays on both Saturday and Sunday throughout Savannah.

The following is important race information for the 2017 Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon weekend:


Metro Police held a press conference Thursday to let residents and visitors know their plan for the weekend. They say there will be officers all over downtown and throughout the course ensuring racers are safe. They urge parents to take pictures of their children before the event in case they get separated. If a child does get lost, they will be taken to the nearest medical tent. Police say if you see anything suspicious, speak up.

"If there's an emergency, call 911. If you see something out of the ordinary that is different from the norm or out of the ordinary, let us know. Call 911 and report it so we can address the situation. It may be nothing or it may be something. Let us know if you see something so we can address it properly," said Sgt. Eddie Grant, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.

The 2015 marathon was cut short because of the heat. At the start of the race, temperatures were in the upper 60s with very high humidity. Several people had to be checked for heat exhaustion. Metro Police are taking this seriously, and say you should know your body's limits.

"Really know your body track, hydrate, drink liquids, keep yourself hydrated throughout this run. It's going to get hot later on in the afternoon, around 1 p.m., so just keep that in mind," Sgt. Grant said.

Metro is teaming up with different police departments for extra security.

"There are tremendous amounts of officers, not only from our department but from surrounding agencies and our surrounding partners," said Sgt. Grant.

Police say all runners should keep themselves hydrated. If you feel like you can't run the full marathon, there are plenty of chances to switch to the half.

The official hashtag for this weekend's race is #RNRSavannah.

For additional Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon information, click here.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.