SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Rock ‘N’ Roll marathon kicked-off this morning despite heavy rains.

“I’m here so I’m freezing but I hope that once I get going, I’ll warm up a bit,” said marathon participant, Elizabeth Caron.

Due to the weather conditions the full marathon, a 26.2 mile race, was canceled – leaving some participants disappointed. The half marathon and relay races still took place.

“It’s a little disappointing,” says runner, Maria Johnson.

Once participants crossed the half marathon finish line this morning – spirits were high, despite the low temperatures.

“It was a tough day, it was fun though,” marathon participant, Tommie Runz said.

“It meant a lot to see everybody out here,” says runner, Charles O-Hagan.

Runners could help make a difference beyond the finish line, by fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the featured charity for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Running Series.

“I’ve been a runner for a very long time and then to give to such an outstanding organization, to give to young children battling cancer was also very passionate to me,” says Verborah Reeves.

Verborah Reeves is a former Savannahian and a cancer survivor who was set to race this year to honor her late goddaughter, who she says was a humanitarian.

“In honor and in memory of my goddaughter Jalaine Mincey, Jalaine passed this last May of 2021 from Ovarian Cancer,” Reeves said.

However, just a few days before the race, Reeves tested positive for COVID-19 and couldn’t participate. But that didn’t stop her fundraising efforts – she was still able to raise well over 1,000 dollars for St. Jude.

“The good news is, I was still able to raise money and the children at St. Jude will still be able to have a great benefit and as I said next year hopefully, I’ll be able to run,” says Reeves.

In the end, not even the downpour could put a damper on today’s Rock ‘N’ Roll marathon.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Officials with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon announced changes early Saturday morning due to the weather.

Organizers made the decision to cancel the event’s full marathon distance.

Organizers did not cancel the half marathon and relay. Those events continued as scheduled.

Read the official statement below:

Due to deteriorating weather conditions we have determined we cannot host the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Savannah full marathon distance. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series half marathon and relay will continue. All marathon participants will have the option to participate in the half marathon.

We recognize that the change at this late juncture will come as a disappointment and are working diligently to provide our participants with further details and event options.

We thank our participants for their commitment and look forward to providing them with an exceptional event experience in the future.

(— previous article —)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah is getting ready to rock and roll Saturday, with the return of the 10th annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

Before the race kicks off, city officials are reminding you of some safety precautions to be aware of if you plan to be downtown this weekend.

“We want people to remain COVID safe, we want people to remain safe and aware on the roadways this weekend, we want runners to be safe,” said City Manager Jay Melder.

Savannah officials are shutting down several streets along and surrounding the course to keep Rock ‘N’ Roll marathon participants safe.

Already, Bull Street is closed from Bryan to Bay streets — and this weekend, there will be several other closures that will be marked on the Waze App.

Savannah police say to be on the lookout for “no parking” signs.

“At midnight, we will start towing vehicles from Bay Street, then work our way around the entire course,” said Sgt. Jason Pagliaro of the Savannah Police Department.

With heavy rains and potential flooding expected to hit Savannah tomorrow, police are urging drivers to be extra cautious and to prepare for delays and closures ahead of time.

“Please follow the instructions of the officers, it’s not just for your safety, there are 18,000 runners on the road, that’s a lot of people. Please let’s keep them safe,” Pagliaro said.

Despite traffic delays, Hostess City officials say they’re excited to be welcoming runners and revelers back.

“We’re excited to be hosting this event, again,” said Melder. “We’re excited that our numbers are trending in the right direction and that we can start to have more and more of the things that we really look forward to.”

After the event’s cancellations last year due to COVID-19, Melder says the return of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is a good sign for Savannah — but it doesn’t mean COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

“This isn’t a call to let your guard down, we still want people to do the sensible thing, wear masks,” said Melder.

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