The same weekend that many of us in the DC area were dealing with the fiasco known as the Hot Chocolate 15K, in Las Vegas, there was another race fiasco at the Rock & Roll Las Vegas Marathon. See some accounts of it at Runner's World, Yelp, KTNV and Facebook. Runners complained that there was a ton of illness, not enough potties, and a crowded, chaotic and dangerous course and finish area. Many people who ran that race are now calling for a boycott of Competitor and RnR Races.
In the meantime, I've signed up for the Rock & Roll USA Half Marathon. Can I just tell you that I have some serious reservations about this race? I initially mentioned it in November, stating that I wasn't sure about running it. I ended up signing up for it because I really want to run this race with my high school friends. However, I've got my doubts. I don't have a lot of faith on Competitor races, or in the Rock & Rolls. I'm not impressed with them at all.
Granted, the only Rock & Roll I've ever done is the Philadelphia half, which I didn't think was better as a rock & roll (I'd done it the year before when it was still the Philadelphia Distance Run). From what I can tell from Philly, Competitor races are too big for their britches, and they coast along on "cool medals" and other gimmicks without really providing the service that I'd expect for the price of one of their races. I could be wrong, but that was my initial impression. Get the runners in, through the course and out, so that you can collect the dollars.
But, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for this race that my friends had chosen. So, what is worrying me?
A couple of weeks ago, they announced that the marathon time limit would be 5:30. This is after many, many people had signed up. While this is reasonable for most runners, I'm sure, if I had signed up for the full marathon, I'd be screwed. And are they offering a refund? Of course not! In my opinion, 5:30 is a pretty tight time limit. Of course, Competitor likes to offer coupons and incentives to sign up early, but then won't offer a refund when the rules are added or changed that make completing the race an impossibility for some.
At this point, the race is "Approaching sell out" according to their website, but a course map and elevation chart have yet to be published. Since this race was previously the National Marathon, many are thinking that it will follow the same or similar course. But - why haven't they released it yet then? It bothered me to sign up for a race with no course information, but I did it anyway because race entry fees went up after 12/31.
Overall, the information about this race has been sparse. For a while, I thought I'd do the relay with a friend, but they haven't even published how the relay would be split. Evenly? 8miles / 5 miles?
I already see that they've updated the expo information, which wasn't updated before I signed up. The expo ends at 7pm on a Friday, so I have to get from my house to DC by 7pm on a Friday after work. Great.
Competitor, I'm still waiting for you to impress me.
Do you love Rock & Roll races or are you as unimpressed as I am?
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