You’re ready to ROCK America’s Finest City at the 2018 Synchrony Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. Now, ensure you’re race-day ready by having a plan to navigate the Start and Finish Line venues and to maximize your on-course experience.  Whether it’s your very first Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego or you’re a returning runner, please take note so you’re up to date and know where to go on race morning, Sunday, June 3! Also check out some great race etiquette tips here. Download the Start and Finish Venue maps and read along:

Start Line

  • Start Time: The race starts at 6:15 AM. We recommend arriving at least one hour prior to your estimated start time to have enough time to stretch, use the restroom, grab a snack, and check your bag.
  • Corrals: Participants will be split into 33 corrals that will be sent off in waves starting at 6:15 am. Marathon participants will be assigned to the first 25 corrals and must start within the first 25 corrals as assigned in order to have the full 7 hour time limit. There will be approximately 1-2 minutes between each corral, so the entire wave plan will take approximately 35-50 minutes for the Marathon and 60-75 minutes for the Half Marathon. Plan accordingly for arrival on race day based on your corral.
  • Location: Your start line is located on Sixth Ave at Quince Street at Balboa Park. Look out for all new signage in San Diego, showcasing a bigger and better start line!
  • Getting to the Start: Check out your best Parking & Transportation Options here and plan ahead to ensure you know the best options for getting around race weekend. NOTE: There is no designated parking at the start line. If you are purchased a shuttle pass for race morning, you will be dropped at Sixth Ave & Juniper. Continue north on Sixth Ave two blocks and you will be at the end of the corrals and in the Start Line Village.
  • Start Elements: Refreshments (Bananas & Water), Medical, Information, Solutions & Restrooms will be available throughout Balboa Park. There are multiple areas for restrooms and refreshments and the park is large, so study the start line map and follow signage on race morning to ensure you find what you need. If there’s a line for restrooms, keep looking for additional locations that may have shorter lines.
  • Gear Check: UPS trucks will be parked on Balboa Dr towards Laurel/El Prado. Affix your gear check tag (on your bib number) to your clear gear bag provided before you arrive race morning. Once you have everything out of your bag that you need for the race, drop your bag at the UPS truck assigned to your last name. All bags must be dropped by 6:30 AM, and will be transported to the finish line at Waterfront Park.
  • Relay Participants: Read your Final Information document carefully for detailed instructions for navigating race day as a 2-person relay team.


  • Aid Stations: Familiarize yourself with where all water stations are located on course, including which ones have Gatorade and Science in Sports energy gels. Half marathon participants will have an additional SiS gel station on course this year, and marathon participants will have two additional SiS gel stations and bananas, so you will be all set on race day! Restrooms will be available at or near all aid stations.
  • Music: In addition to all of the awesome local bands along the course, be on the lookout for our new Mile Markers – not only are they easier to spot on race day, they literally rock with music playing at select miles!
  • Elevation: Don’t forget – San Diego’s beauty can’t be experienced without some hills along the way. While the uphills are minimal along the Half Marathon course, there are a couple major hills on the Marathon course, so check out the Elevation Chart so you know what to expect on race day.
  • Course Time Limits: Remember that the course time limits are 4 hours for the half marathon and 7 hours for the marathon. Read your Final Information to understand your options to continue if you fall behind pace.
  • Bus Boxes/Course Diversions: A bus box/diversion is an on-course adjustment that can happen as often as every 90 seconds to allow access for buses or local traffic . While runners are rocking the course, there are buses, city vehicles and cars that need to get through. A bus box allows traffic to cross the course in a way that does NOT affect the runner experience. Don’t worry — you are still running the same distance! Bus box/course diversion locations are noted in the Final Information documents. To be fully prepared for a race day bus box change please watch our video here.
  • Marathon/Half Marathon Split: Be on the lookout for signage designating where the courses split to ensure you stay on course.
  • Neighborhoods: You will see some GREAT community support for this race. Be on the lookout for the iconic San Diego neighborhood signs throughout the race, and be ready to high five local residents who will cheer you on as you run through their hood.
  • Spectator Tips: Friends and family joining you race day to support all of your hard work? Make sure they know the best spots on course to cheer you on and grab some grub or coffee.

Finish Line

  • Finish Line Festival: Once you cross the finish line, you will get your medal and refreshments inside the participant Secure Zone. After you exit the Secure Zone, head a few blocks straight towards the Finish Line Festival at Waterfront Park to celebrate your accomplishment! Study the Finish Line Venue Map to familiarize yourself with where to meet family and friends, pick up your gear, grab your complimentary Michelob ULTRA, try out local food trucks, and check out The Revivalists!  NOTE: Due to large crowds on race day, please plan to meet family and friends in the Family Reunion area at the Finish Line Festival, not near the Secure Zone exit.
  • Marathon Finishers: To celebrate your amazing accomplishment of finishing 26.2 miles, we are literally rolling out the red carpet for you as you cross the finish line. We will also have a special Marathon Recovery Zone at the Finish Line Festival, which will be located inside Waterfront Park near the fountains. The Marathon Recovery Zone will have refreshments exclusive to Marathon finishers, massage therapists, restrooms, changing tents, and a place to sit and relax as you celebrate your accomplishment.  Marathon finishers will be required to show bib upon entrance to the Recovery Zone.