SAN DIEGO — An estimated 30,000 runners participated in the 22nd annual Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon Sunday.
Crowds of spectators swarmed around the finish line downtown, shouting words of encouragement to runners as they crossed.
“I love it!” said Sherry Nichols, who ran the half-marathon route for the ninth time this year. “This is my favorite. Everybody comes out, you get to have mimosas on the street and party. It’s so much fun!”
First-time marathon runner Ted Glaser was surprised by the emotions that came along with his experience. “I’m not a very emotional guy, but you almost get choked up because it’s so positive and there’s so many people you don’t even know who are encouraging you,” he said.
Bronwyn Butuk, whose father was her source of inspiration to sign up, said she faced an unexpected challenge just weeks before the race. “I battled through a lot of mishaps,” Butuk said. “I got a concussion three weeks before the marathon, so I had to come through that. But honestly, nothing was going to stop me from running this.”
Butuk was all smiles after crossing the finish line, saying it was an indescribable moment.
For second-time participant Don McGreal, the day was a decade in the making. “Ten years ago I came down here and I finished, and didn’t have my best day,” McGreal said. “I had it on my calendar to do it again and my younger cousin talked me into taking another shot at it. I finally had the day that I wanted.”
McGreal’s said it was an “unreal” experience having his wife and children watch him run the marathon.