Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Rock 'n' Roll race brings road closings, parking warnings

ST. PETERSBURG — Motorists driving downtown this weekend can expect major street closures and possible traffic delays as thousands of people gather for the city's newest road race.

More than 8,000 runners from around the country have signed up for Sunday's inaugural Rock ’n' Roll Half Marathon. The 7 a.m. race starts at Tropicana Field and snakes through downtown before ending with a free concert featuring chart-topper Flo Rida (Good Feeling) at 10 a.m. at North Shore Park between 12th and 13th avenues.

"Definitely preplan your travels Sunday morning," said police Sgt. Gary Dukeman, who is in charge of special events. "This is probably one of the biggest foot races we've had."

City officials began warning motorists weeks ago about the closings, putting giant digital signs along the route, which includes Central Avenue, First Avenue S, Fourth Street S, Third Street S, Snell Isle Boulevard, and North Shore and Bayshore drives.

Officers will begin closing those roads about 3 a.m. Sunday, Dukeman said. Roads will be reopened as the race passes, he said.

"It'll be a rolling reopening," he said. "I expect it all to be clear by 1 p.m."

Don't want to get stuck in the area during those times? Dukeman advised using 34th Street to travel north and south of downtown.

Parking also may be an issue.

Officials say those wanting to attend today's free health and fitness expo at Tropicana Field should park at surrounding lots if they don't want to pay $15 at the stadium. Residents who live along the race route also must have their cars moved by midnight Saturday night or risk being towed.

Race organizers say the St. Petersburg half marathon already has exceeded expectations.

"We've been thrilled," said Dan Cruz, spokesman for Competitor Group Inc., which organizes Rock ’n' Roll races. "We are excited about the size of this race."

Even those who organize some of the Tampa Bay area's other distance races are supportive

Susan Harmeling, race director for the Publix Super Markets Gasparilla Distance Classic Race Weekend, said the appetite for running events is strong.

The Gasparilla event, which also features a half marathon, is less than a month away. Even still, Harmeling said, organizers expect to see more than 28,000 people on March 3-4. That's even more than past races.

"Our local running community is very loyal," Harmeling said. "I think that the proof is in the pudding already — the local running community can support these two events."

Reach Kameel Stanley at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643.

Comments
Parkland shooting makes Florida the target for gun politics. How far will it go?

Parkland shooting makes Florida the target for gun politics. How far will it go?

TALLAHASSEE A powerful Florida Senate committee is expected to approve a package of bills Monday that are bitterly opposed by the National Rifle Association. That is news. It’s the first time in more than a decade that legislation opposed by the poli...
Updated: 14 minutes ago

ChinaAbolishing term limit could allow Xi to stay in powerChina’s Communist Party has cleared the way for President Xi Jinping to stay in power, perhaps indefinitely, by announcing Sunday that it wants to abolish the two-term limit on the presidency ...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

Updated: 17 minutes ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., Feb. 25, midday:26 359 7773e_SRit32082Sun., Feb. 25, evening:04 021 7148e_SRit11138Fantasy 5Sunday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In Black Panther, kids finally see themselves starring on screen

In Black Panther, kids finally see themselves starring on screen

Updated: 1 hour ago

Tax return petition gets no response

After more than a year of silence, the Trump administration is starting to address a backlog of petitions signed by Americans on the White House website. But the White House is ducking a high-profile petition calling on President Donald Trump to rele...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Congress has ideas on gun violence, but no consensus

Congress has ideas on gun violence, but no consensus

Associated PressWASHINGTON — After a 10-day break, members of Congress are returning to work today under hefty pressure to respond to the outcry over gun violence. But no plan appears ready to take off despite a long list of proposals, including many...
Updated: 2 hours ago
White House will see if North Korea is serious about talks

White House will see if North Korea is serious about talks

Associated PressWASHINGTON — The White House said Sunday that it would wait and see whether a new overture by North Korea for talks with the United States means it is serious about disarming, a step President Donald Trump and other world leaders agre...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Mexican president won’t visit White House after Trump reportedly ‘lost his temper’ in call

Mexican president won’t visit White House after Trump reportedly ‘lost his temper’ in call

Tentative plans for a trip by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to the White House have been scrapped after he and President Donald Trump spoke by phone and tangled once again over Trump’s plans to erect a border wall, according to news reports.Th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco deputies: New Port Richey man shot during home invasion

Pasco deputies: New Port Richey man shot during home invasion

A New Port Richey man was in critical condition on Sunday after being shot during a home invasion that the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said may be drug related.Detectives say a call was received at 2:22 a.m. Sunday that the resident at 4429 Tidal P...
Updated: 2 hours ago