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Warning, a very controversial topic! More controversial than Religion, and Politics... (Read 455 times)

    Warning, a very controversial topic! More controversial than Religion, and Politics...

     

    Yes, folks, I am starting a topic on Competitor events "Rock N Roll" Series of Races.

     

    To begin, I know there are folks who love Rock N Roll Races, and there are folks who think they are terrible.  I personally fall in the middle ground.  There are some things I don't like about them, but there are other things I do like about them.  (Call me an "independent coexister" on this issue.)

     

    Many folks include the positives as being able to travel to great cities across the nation where only RNR will provide the consistency of what you get for your money:  Pretty well organized, pretty awesome medals that are all consistent, a bunch of other things.

     

    Other folks will point out that R-N-R basically commercialized alot of the races in many cities.  Profits were more important then the true spirit of running, etc.   Many of us have heard the stories about how the "sag wagons" pick people up, drive them for miles, then let them get off to collect their "finisher medal".  Or how the CEO of the company at one race shortcutted his own race, and still collected his medal.  (and placed in the top 3 in Age group if I heard the story right?!)

     

    ---To the main point now:  I will run these races that are near my area.  I'll sign up a year in advance for about $65.00 and I am happy with what I receive. (I personally have done VA Beach, Raleigh, Philadelphia).    But...  I have noticed alot of R-N-R events have been canceled as of late.  

     

    Races that are sort-of near my area that I once thought of doing which are now canceled include:  (1)  RNR Lexington, KY.  (The inaugural event was never even run, turned back over to local organizers).  (2)  RNR Providence, RI.  (Uncertain why canceled, perhaps the city is asking more $$$ than RNR wants to pay for the amount of runners?)   (3)  RNR Pasadena, FL.  (This race was done for 2 years, then because of rapidly declining interest and low registration numbers, canceled after 2 years.   (4)  RNR Pittsburgh.    (This race supposedly canceled by the city because it was to be run in August, traditionally the 'death march' dates for a race).

     

    Now, bigger picture, I know there are some RNR folks concerned about the decline in numbers of most participants at most RNR races and the cancellation of some of them, and there are some RNR haters who would be glad to see the whole company go "poof" and disappear!  But.. Main question to all runners is does this decline in runners at RNR events worry you?  (If your only major race in your City is ann RNR one perhaps?)  Or are you content with it?  Opinions?  

    The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  ∞


    Feeling the growl again

      \, pretty awesome medals that are all consistent

       

       Main question to all runners is does this decline in runners at RNR events worry you?  (If your only major race in your City is ann RNR one perhaps?)  Or are you content with it?  Opinions?  

       

      Well if the medals are so important to you go for it...personally I have boxes full.  Meh.

       

      Would a decline in RNR event numbers worry me?  Why would I be concerned that people are realizing their are so many other nice races out there that charge a fraction of the price and don't want to pay ridiculous prices for a commoditized, industrial experience?  RNR race numbers are in no way correlated with the overall interest in running and racing.  Declining RNR race participation numbers are more likely a result of customers responding to the product they are receiving than anything else.

       

      Overall, I've noticed a decline in the last 2-3 years in participation in races that are pushing the envelope on cost.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        On medals, I liked them when I started, I don't need them now.   I tend personally to be of the "minimalist/can't take them with you" mindset.   Other than my JFK 50 miler and a few other of the more significant ones, not much concerned with the rest personally.  But... It could be one hell of a practical joke.  I could pick my least favorite relatives as pallbearers, then put in my will "wants to be buried with all his race medals" and then have the thought of 6 folks struggling under the immense weight of it all?....  Ok, nevermind. :-)

         

        I suppose you have a valid point.  As long as there are runners, there will be races.  If competitor events pulls their RNR event out of a one-race city, there should be other RD's who would fire up other races in its' place.    -- The point about the popularity of running valid as well.  Watching the list of folks trying to get into the New York race, and watching MCM sell out in a new record time each year is a very good indication of continued strong running interest...

        The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  ∞


        CT JEFF

          I havent run a RNR. I dont have a desire to, but I would if it were convenient to my plans. The only people who would be VERY worried about a decline in RNR's would be those who LOVE them. I am slightly concerned that RNR in general do not promote favorable experiences for communities in respect to running races. Many complaints seem to be that RNR is all for profit, not for community. Running is a community. It brings us closer to our neighbors and our neighborhoods.

           

          I think the decline in RNR is both good and bad. Bad only for the fact that a persons first experience with racing could be marred by a company that has no problem promising first and renigging later. Marred by a company that essentially says, do whatever you want, we'll just drive you to the finish. The positive, if it were a better experience for all, it would survive as many local races do for decades.

           

          Suppy & Demand. If you have a good product, you will have people knocking down your door to get into the race for the value. If interest is so low in more and more cities, it should be a red flag to the cities that are keeping RNR. Maybe there is a better way to do things. I dont know all the reasons with Providence either, but I live in CT and get a lot of announcements from Providence. They run several races and are in close proximity to some other good races, Hartford, Boston. Might not have been enough demand to squeeze one more race in, regardless of who was putting it on.

          RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28

           

          --8/17 Canton Lobster Loop 5k -((with speed or with son?))  -

          Sun 9/7 - 6am (volunteer- Womens TRI) -

          Sat 9/27 (scheduling conflict) Hogsback HM - October Hartford Marathon. November - Spartan Race with DW in Fenway

           

            .. Main question to all runners is does this decline in runners at RNR events worry you?  (If your only major race in your City is ann RNR one perhaps?)  Or are you content with it?  Opinions?  

            No worry., no opinion. It's a business that maybe isn't doing as well as it might want. I'm not sure I see what's controversial.

             

            There's more races, and races are constantly being sold out, but RnR doesn't provide the type race I'm interested in and it's presence / absence won't affect the number of racers in my races.

             

            Now if they start invading Alaska trail races, I'd worry.

            "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
            Tar Heel Mom


            Unleavened Dead

              I will just echo what Jeff says above. I've never done an RNR, they really do sound awful, but I am considering Savannah which is the next sort of flat course near me and I believe it's an RNR. What is keeping me from signing up is how expensive the hotels are.

               

              So, no I don't care that RNRs go the way of the dinosaurs. Races won't go away. And someone with lots of seed money and a heart of stone will likely start another series that's all about money anyway.

               

              I hate mud runs, color runs and that crap way more than I hate RNRs.

              "Won't you try just a little bit harder, couldn't you try just a little bit more?"


              Mmmmm...beer

                I'm willing to bet that it's the price point more than anything.  At least for me, in this area, I compare RnR Va Beach with J&A's Shamrock races, and there's no comparison, you get way more for your money from J&A.  RnR prices keep going up, and you keep getting less and less.  Last year at RnR VB, the 5k wasn't even timed, seriously?  I had a good time both times I raced RnR VB, and it was my first half, so there's that.  But I'm not racing it this year since it's not a Grand Prix event anymore.  Looking forward to the Crawling Crab, which I've heard is a great race.

                -Dave

                 

                2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                  wonder how many have the same mindset as myself.   I love running & I love R & R &  at some point would like to run one but probably one just for the experience.     do you think that might at least partially explain why early numbers are good but once people have participated in a R & R event they are done with them?  Too expensive, too much hassle, & too "gimmicky"   Don't need all that extra crap to have a great experience at a race.   I would enjoy the more minimal bare bones events more.  Recently I attended a 5/10k event that gave 100% of the registration fees to a great charity.    No medals, no AG awards, no swag of any kind, just postrace food..  Director announced this from the very onset.   This was put on by a small local running club that does 4-5 races/yr & had 3x the number of people than any previous event they had ever put on before.    Awesome

                    Main question to all runners is does this decline in runners at RNR events worry you?

                     

                    Nope.

                    Runners run.

                       

                      Nope.

                       

                      +1

                      The overall number of races & number of participants are on strong upward trends, regardless of how any one specific race company is doing.

                      Dave

                      jimmyb


                      port-a-bella-potty

                        Nothing controversial. They're a business in the land of free, and the market will keep them in check like every other business. When business is down, you have to adjust to what the consumer is telling you with the withholding of their money (speech). I wish RnR great success. As a consumer, I look at price, level of complication just to get from home to the starting line and back, location, and whether or not they give happy endings.

                        Log    PRs

                        CMJHawk86


                          I have mixed feelings about RNR. I steadfastly resisted running one of their races until last year, when I did RNR Philly as part of my marathon buildup for Marine Corps. I picked it because a) the timing was right, b) I signed up early and cheap (at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler expo in April) and c) I come from Philly and still like to go back there and race. Overall I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it was a better event in the old Philadelphia Distance Run days? I don't know because I didn't run it back then. But this particular race went off well I thought, comparable to the Philadelphia Marathon/Half later in the fall (which I have done four times).

                           

                          In any event, the experience softened my opinion of RNR somewhat. I also work as a coach with Team in Training and note that we have a partnership with a lot of RNR races across the country. In fact, RNR Philly is one of the races we in the National Capital Area chapter are training our runners for this fall. In addition, the Nation's Triathlon, which TNT puts on every September in DC gets a lot of logistical support from competitor.com. So I do see the philanthropic side as well.

                           

                          I still don't seek out RNR races as my top choice events but I'm keeping an open mind.  For me the usual criteria apply, timing, distance, course, whether it's a target race, etc. Overall as an individual consumer/competitor I do think RNR's non-discounted race fees are too high but there are a lot of ways to get discounts. Currently, I'm considering Virginia Beach on Labor Day weekend, but I haven't decided yet.

                            CJMHawk, sounds like you were on the same plan I was on.  I did RNR Philly last year, and thought it was a nice race.  Weather good, first time for me in Philly, etc.  Nice event.  I did the RNR also as a prep race for the MCM race last year.

                             

                             

                            wonder how many have the same mindset as myself.   I love running & I love R & R &  at some point would like to run one but probably one just for the experience.     do you think that might at least partially explain why early numbers are good but once people have participated in a R & R event they are done with them?  Too expensive, too much hassle, & too "gimmicky"   Don't need all that extra crap to have a great experience at a race. 

                             

                            I agree on this part.  I know there are folks who wanted to do 5, 6, 7, 10 RNR races in a single year to get those extra Heavy Medals and etc, but that does sound like a "one and done" proposition, doesn't it?  So even your "bling" getters have mostly picked a year in 2010, 2011, 2012, and have now already visited most of the RNR locations they want to, and already have their "heavy medal" series.  -- Would be no need to do it again for that purpose, those heavy medals don't change from yr to yr anyway.  Makes alot of sense.    

                             

                            That would suggest that RNR may be ending some of its' other races soon as the participation numbers at most of their races are on a downward trend year after year.

                            .

                            The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  ∞


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              I hate mud runs, color runs and that crap way more than I hate RNRs.

                               

                              I might disagree. I think the mud runs and color runs probably serve more benefit, by helping mainly beginning and less serious runners have fun with running and get experience with racing. I think RNR probably is more damaging to running clubs, and to the general experience of running community.

                               

                              It almost inspires me to make a poll Smile

                              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                                I dont know the full history of RNR events.  when started, how many, where, etc. Obviously there are many more of them now.  I wonder if the total # of RNR participants each year is still growing, but declining #'s at individual events.  The field is diluted.

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