Rock’n Roll Cancels the Los Angeles Race Weekend (and I Don’t Know Why, But I Get It)

December 12, 2018   /   byrunningwhilevegan  / Categories :  Race Recap, Review, Running, Travel

While hanging out on Instagram last night, I found myself scrolling through the comments on a Rock’n Roll post. And then, I saw it: LOS ANGELES IS CANCELLED! At first I was shocked, saddened, I couldn’t believe the race this past October was the last one! The longer I sat with it, the more it started to make sense. 

Photo courtesy of Hugo Ramirez Photography

I’ve run a variety of the Rock’n Roll races, from Vegas, Arizona, all the way to Texas! Most of the races go through the most exciting parts of the city, with scenic landscapes and famous landmarks. Rock’n Roll LA is a course that leaves much to be desired. We have so much great tourist attractions in LA, yet the race doesn’t cover any of them. Well, you run by where Gym Class Heroes and Katy Perry filmed Cupid’s Chokehold.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s not on your bucket list of attractions, but I don’t know your life.

Last year Ironman bought the Rock’n Roll Race Series and some pretty big changes were made. For one, they discontinued the Unlimited Race Tourpass*, so if you wanted to get into the Hall of Fame, that’s 15 races! There was Tourpass for three races and a pass for ten; Mike and I bought the ten race pass. I had been interested in trying to get into the Hall of Fame, but buying a ten pass and then five races on top of that, or the ten pass, three pass and then two individual races, it didn’t make any sense for us. As it was, with the financial costs of the travel, we were able to make 7/10 races for me, and 5/10 for Mike. They also discontinued the free marathoner finisher jackets. From a business perspective, these changes made sense, but were still disappointing for runners who had come to expect these perks. There were a lot of disappointed runners at the beginning of 2018 because the medals and tech shirts for all the races looked the same. The second half of the year, the series changed up the medals and shirts, which I’m going to assume was from all the negative feedback. RnR Brooklyn was also discontinued as of 2018, which was disappointing to some runners I know. That was a race I was interested in running myself, but what are you going to do? (Get yourself in the New York Marathon, I guess!)

Training for RnR LA with BlacklistLA in 2017. 

While I feel melancholy about Los Angeles being cancelled, but I can’t say I’m surprised. The race expo this year was the smallest I’ve seen — there were hardly any vendors, it was like a ghost town. Last year I volunteered at the LA Marathon booth as part of my LAM ambassador duties and it was wayyyy more hoppin’! About two weeks later Mike and I ran RnR Vegas, and the expo was huge, overwhelming so! The two expos were like night and day. The race really feels like a hometown affair, the run crews in LA train for it, and if you live and run here, you see so many peers on the course! Again, I just can’t see this race being a draw for out-of-towners, and I’m curious if the feedback was negative. In Vegas, you run the strip at night, San Antonio you run past the Alamo, New Orleans you run the Garden District and the French Quarter, San Francisco you run over the Golden Gate Bridge, and so forth. 

BlacklistLA training run in 2017, Koreatown, LA. Photo via BlacklistLA. 

Most of my sad feelings come from the fact everyone came out for it, and everyone trained together. I trained with BlacklistLA two years in a row (but didn’t run the race the first year, used the training for RnR Vegas a couple weeks later). It was a race that brought our running community together, and the Halloween vibes were so much fun! Now with RnR being gone, it does give us a chance to focus on other local races, for instance the Pasadena Half, Surf City Half or Full, and Long Beach Half or Full.  On the other plus side, some pretty exciting Rock’n Roll races are driving distance from LA, like San Jose, San Francisco, Vegas, San Diego and Arizona! In California alone, we still have three races within the series, to choose from!

Running in a costume for the first time during RnR LA 2017! Brought to you by a lot of Body Glide and zero chafing! 

I’ll miss you, RnR LA. I’m glad I got to run you two great years in a row. You were the race that changed my mind about running in a costume, and I’ll never forget that. 

Have you run RnR LA? How are you feeling about the series discontinuing Los Angeles? 

*The Unlimited Tourpass is back for 2019, along with the three pass and 10 pass! Mike and I will probably go for the three race pack, I’m thinking San Diego, Chicago and Vegas! 

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