Monday, April 11, 2016 10:00 AM


At the starting line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Alden Gibbs and Keenon James kept moving, trying to stay warm as they waited for their start.

James, 35, an N.C. Central University graduate, said this is his third Rock ‘n’ Roll event of the year. The half-marathoner participates so often, because the events are a meeting place for his group Black Men Run, which encourages African-American men to get out and be active.

Roads from Fayetteville Street to N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus were shut down Sunday, snarling downtown traffic starting at 6 a.m. as full- and half-marathoners attacked the course.

The for-profit event, now in its third year in Raleigh, has evolved into a weekend event, with a 5K on Saturday at the Dorothea Dix campus, concerts on Friday and Sunday and a Health and Fitness Expo.

Both Gibbs, 51, and James, are part of Black Men Run’s District of Columbia chapter and mostly communicate through Facebook, unless they gather for a big event.

“You get to see a lot of your friends from across the country,” James said.

As soon as the last runner left the starting line, two city street sweepers and an army of employees and volunteers cleared coats, blankets and ...

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