Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon draws thousands

LOS FELIZ, Calif. The race kicked off at /*Griffith Park*/ in /*Los Feliz*/. The event took over what used to be the City of Angels Half Marathon, according to event producer Scott Dickey.

Bands were stationed at every mile marker along the race route, with the headlining band Neon Trees expected to give a free concert at the finish line at L.A. Live.

"The thing that actually helped the most was the bands. Every mile, there were bands playing, and half of the songs I knew from growing up. It really helped me out a lot," said runner Jacques Sallberg, who was the first person to cross the finish line.

The first male and female runners to finish the race win a prize of $1,500 a piece.

/*Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa*/ and L.A. Councilman /*Tom Labonge*/ were among the 12,000 participants running in the inaugural race.

Before the race began, runners paid tribute to 16-year-old Conor Lynch, a Notre Dame High School student who was killed last week when he was struck by a car as he jogged to cross country practice.

Lynch and three fellow cross country teammates were headed to practice after school on Tuesday when he crossed Woodman Avenue near Addison Street in /*Sherman Oaks*/. He was struck by an SUV and died at the scene, police said.

Various onramps for the 134, 5 and 101 and streets along the race route will be closed during the duration of the event. All roads and freeway ramps are expected to be reopened around noon.

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