The San Jose Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon will be holding its eighth and largest installment on Sunday, October 6th.

The Rock n’ Roll Marathon is a nationwide event that was originally started in San Diego as a way to offer something different than a typical marathon.

Bekah Holt, the event’s organizer, says the Rock n’ Roll Marathon is like a big block party. Everyone from the average Joe to top-of-the-line runners can participate.

“Our founder wanted a way to make running fun and not just for the elite,” says Holt. “Some people run, some walk, there’s music playing the entire time, it’s a lot of fun.”

This year, Atlas Genius will play the post-race concert. There will be a total of 14 local bands playing along the entire race, which passes through a good-sized chunk of downtown, as well as other San Jose neighborhoods.

There’s even a 5-mile mini marathon for those who want to enjoy the festivities but may not be able to finish an entire race.

“The point is for everyone to participate,” says Holt. “People dress up in costumes, there’s serious runners, there’s a little bit for everyone.”

David Brookings played with his band, David Brookings and the Average Lookings, at last year’s marathon. He says that the event definitely has an easygoing vibe.

“We had a good time,” says Brookings. “It was fun to see runners going by, everybody was in a good mood. One guy was Slash [of Guns N’ Roses]. Dude that ran by in a chicken suit, that was funny, it didn’t make sense, it had to be hot.”

Brookings, who describes his band as a modern-day Beatles crossed with Weezer, says he won’t be playing this year because he is now a solo artist, but that he would do it again.

“It was a bit weird to play a gig at 8 in the morning, but we had a great time,” he says.

This year’s marathon will host 16,000 participants, from elite runners to guys dressed in a chicken suits and everything in between.

For those who run marathons on a regular basis, the San Jose edition of the marathon is home to the fastest time for a California state half-marathon, according to the event’s website. This is due to the mainly flat course through the streets of downtown.

The race weekend starts with a Health and Fitness Expo on Fri, Oct. 4 and Sat, Oct 5 at the McEnery Convention Center. The expo is free to the public.

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