It’s almost time for Savannah’s most recognizable race! The music-filled 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon and Half Marathon is set for Nov. 2-3, 2019, and if you’re not prepared, it can be a little overwhelming. Here’s what to expect – and how to navigate – one of Savannah’s busiest weekends whether you’re participating as a runner or as a spectator.
With the event being such a huge draw for the city, it’s important to get hotel reservations in order as early as possible to get the available discounts. In this case, it’s best to check the host website and booking a discount through there.
“The DoubleTree Savannah Historic District, Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District, and Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District/Riverfront all have group blocks open, but they are limited,” said Stacy Sturgis, director of sales. “So, booking early is definitely smart!”
Make no mistake: downtown Savannah is going to be crowded during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon weekend. That’s why it’s imperative to have your parking plan established if you don’t have a room booked.
“If you can book a room and walk to the start and finish, it’s worth it to not stress over parking,” said Sturgis, who has run the half marathon four times since it launched in Savannah in 2011. “If you are going to park on race day, park early and closer to the finish.”
The idea here is to avoid having to walk back to your car after running either the marathon or half marathon. Chances are, walking back to your vehicle that’s parked far away won’t be ideal; you want to do that walk before the race, not after you’ve spent a tremendous amount of energy.
The City of Savannah releases a map of the scheduled road closures for the weekend. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with these closures prior to making your way downtown. There’s also a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon app available to track runners using their bib numbers.
Before the race
Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon participants will need to pick up their race packets prior to the race at the Health and Fitness Expo. This event takes place on Thursday and Friday at the Savannah Convention Center before the big weekend. It’s better to go as early as possible. This means it won’t be nearly as crowded as it will be on Friday when out of town runners begin to arrive, and there will be more merchandise available. The expo is free, and it’s also open to the public, not just marathon participants.
Fleet Feet Savannah, located in Midtown Savannah, is also an excellent resource for marathon participants. The retail store stocks athletic shoes, apparel, and accessories that are geared toward runners. Fleet Feet Savannah also offers training programs for both the full and half marathons.
On the day before the race, the DoubleTree Savannah Historic District will host a pasta dinner to help runners carb-load and prepare for the weekend.
While the marathon, half marathon, and half marathon relay lead the way on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 2, there are also other races set to take place over the weekend. On Sunday, Nov. 3, a 5K, 1-mile run, and Kids Rock run are all scheduled to take place in Midtown Savannah.
On your mark, get set go and book your stay in Savannah at the DoubleTree Savannah Historic District, Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District, and Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District/Riverfront for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon weekend!