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Category: Races

Marathon Running Series

When I first started running and decided to run in Nashville’s Country Music Marathon the following year, I learned that it was just one stop in the Competitor Group’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. This is a running series that I have become very familiar with, having run in 16 of their races in numerous cities. As I’ll describe below, no matter where you decide to run one of their races you can be sure you will experience a large, well organized, meticulously planned, race – some might say a entertainment package where you sweat a little. You know what you are getting. This however is an advantage for some, while a disadvantage for other because it is commercialized and maybe lacking “individualism” (I am not one of those).

A running series is of course a group of races that have a common owner or collaborate together. Sometimes you will compete in the whole series during a season, but in most cases, you will simply pick and choose which ones to run depending on the date or the location. Occasionally by participating in more than one stop in a series you will receive some sort of recognition (possibly an additional medal, some extra bling in your race bag, or some clothing).

Generally with an established series you know the producing company has staged a race before and is familiar with all the planning necessities and possible pitfalls. They may have some local representatives, but they also have a corporate team who assist with planning, logistics, marketing, legal, and finance which can make things run a little smoother.

With that said, they don’t always have the “local” flavor that a non-series race has. Sometimes what sets a non-series race apart is the way they go out of their way to make sure the finishers medal is definitely one-of–a-kind, or they put something different in your race bag.

It had been a while since I looked to see what series are out there, so when I recently did a search I was excited to find that there are great number of them (I stopped looking as there were so many). Many look fun and I think I might start planning on participating in some of the races.

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Race Review – 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and ½ Marathon

Just the Facts
Date: April 30, 2016
Location: Nashville, TN
Participants: 30,000
Weather: Cloudy/Rainy, mid 60° F
Races: 5K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon

About the Race

For the previous 16 years this race has been known as the Country Music Marathon. This year however, to conform with the naming of the other Competitor Group’s series races, it is now named the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon (actually the full name is the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and ½ Marathon).

RnRNash16LogoIn its 17th year history, this will be my 7th consecutive year to run it; six years in the half marathon and one year where I mistakenly thought the full marathon would be fun (I would like to blame it on my youth, but it was only last year and I’m not young by any definition). This is generally my last race of the season as racing in the south after the end of April is difficult due to the heat. Not that you can’t race in the heat, it is simply tough mentally and physically to train in the heat and humidity – the races are easy since you only have to motivate yourself for under 2 hours early in the morning, but training sucks when it is hot and the humidity prevents the sweat from evaporating.

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