Rock Star Running?
I came across this link from a few different blogs, social media sites, and friend suggestions. I had a few different reactions given what I am trying to establish here on this blog.
Firstly, I would be lying if I didnt say I wish I had the 300$ needed to purchase this series pass for a bunch of endurance races. Of course, I would also have to wish that I lived closed to any RnR races that I would get with this pass. All the locations they run seem really interesting and the mere thought of running a whole bunch of races, setting a training schedule around them, and traveling to all of these locations lights that marathon urge fire right up in me. But it’s a dream so I have to let it go.
The reality is, Im kind of iffy about the whole Rock and Roll Marathon series. I dont know what to make of it from an observer standpoint. To be honest, I have never run one. They ran a half down in St. Pete but at 75$, it was just too big of a cost to do me, and it was only a week before my 65$ marathon. Almost every serious runner I know was excited to sign up for it and a local running group I am familiar with had made it there monthly race. They all seemed to enjoy it but that mostly may be because they ran it really well, lots of PR’s all around.
I imagine the races are well run, well organized, and that Rock n Roll element of bands playing all the time probably brings a degree of fun to the race that you may not get at most races. Still, Im wary. If they decided to push a full into St. Pete it will be the most local marathon to where I live and near impossible to turn down, but it all seems a bit corporatized to me. This makes my stomach turn a bit. Part of the marathon/half marathon intrigue to me is that the race is local. The idea that the feature of the race is the amazing city and its unique locations and features. The purpose of the RnR’s seems to take away from that focus and place it onto what they have to sell. For example, I saw an ad in a runners magazine for a RnR marathon in Madrid. I cant imagine how amazing it would be to run through a stunning city like that, why do I need a big time show to go with it? Its freaking Madrid, appreciate that.
I get that races costs gobs of money to set up, organize, run, award, etc. Im not immune to that at all. Thats probably why a corporate type enterprise like this was developed, big profit based on a unique model. Runners want to run races, and give a city a big company that promises them a spectacle that they wont have to organize and they will both probably jump at the chance. They are far more likely to work with an organization whose primary focus is these types of events than with a charity or a company who has focuses elsewhere. In fact, I recall reading about a dispute St. Pete green lighting the RnR marathon very easily but not doing so easily for the other big endurance races in the same city. Ones that have been run there consistently in the pass.
Ill use a restaurant analogy to sum up. You can always find a Fridays, Chilis, Applebees, or Ruby Tuesdays anywhere in the country. Pay them a decent sum and you will get a pretty good plate of food (yes I know its unhealthy but just follow me here). The beauty of these places – if you enjoy them- is the similarity. You know what you get when you are going to walk through the door. That beauty to me is all their most ugly part. Wouldn’t you rather go pay that same sum to some place local? Some place that comes from the community? Wouldnt the food at that place be at least a little bit tastier? Rock n Roll Marathons are chains to me. They are fairly comparatively priced (although still out of my league), you will get pretty much what they offer consistently, no matter where you go. But thats all. I would rather pay my sum to a more local race and sample their running tour through the city/area. More flavor that way