Saturday, October 24, 2009

And now there are 13

Just found out that the Competitor Group's Rock and Roll Endurance Series has added two more events to the 2010 series raising the number of events to 13. To most people this is just an interesting fact but to me its a bit more. That's because I plan to run every event in the series in a single year.

The events they added are the Denver Marathon on Sunday, October 17, 2010 and the ING Rock and Roll Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, September 19, 2010. The Phillie event has somewhat been part of the endurance family as the event was part of their Heavy Medal series the last couple years (at least). But now it's been officially added to the series.

Its this escalating list of events that makes running the entire series so intriguing for me:
  • No one has ever done it. That in itself holds perhaps the most appeal and I love crossing and setting milestones. It's perhaps a bit of a technicality since 2010 is the first time there have been 13 events in the series. So while other runners might have run all the events in a prior year, there haven't been 13 before. Thus it's a new milestone.
  • I've never run a Rock and Roll marathon before. I completed their inaugural half marathon on San Jose and found the support, organization and bands every mile to make the event pretty fun and special. As a coach for TNT I've had many friends run the Rock and Roll that started it all - San Diego, and raved about it. So I'm excited to hear all the bands all across the country.
  • I love destination runs. Let's face it. Running marathons is tough on your body. You have to burn lots of hour training, sacrifice time with the family and push yourself to the brink nearly every time. I still hit mile 22 cursing myself an wondering why I put myself through this. I figure that if I'm going to put myself through this much torture I ought to do it in a pretty place and make a short vacation out of it. And the R&R series has some great cities: Phoenix, New Orleans, Chicago, Nashville, Virginia Beach, Seattle, San Antonio and more.
  • It's a great platform to help raise awareness for cancer research. I've been an active supporters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since 2003 and can't think of a better way to raise the awareness of this cause than to dedicate my life to it. In 2007 I became a running coach for the society's Team in Training program and have found it extremely rewarding to help people train for their first endurance event while raising valuable funds for the society. It is such a thrill to help someone cross that finish line for the first time. has been a consistent supporter of TNT through its R&R events so running every event allows me to help raise awareness and funds for the society throughout the entire year and on a national stage.
  • I'm crazy about running and want to share the love. There are few other ways you can get such incredible cardiovascular exercise in such a short time as through running. And what sport is more accessible. All you need are a pair of good shoes, shorts and a T-shirt. You can do it year round, in any weather. And even if you can only get out for 30 minutes you can get in a really good workout. I started running as a way to stay fit while traveling a ton for work. It also gave me a chance to see all the cities I was flying too (rather than just the inside of a conference room). Staying healthy for life is its own reward.
  • But honestly, I'm all about the bling! Come on, let's face it. We can all run anywhere. We can even run 26 miles on the weekends on our own. But we don't. We run in organized events for the camaraderie, great support, excitement of running with so many others who share our passion and for the medals. There are no other marathon series anywhere in the world that come close to the bling factor R&R delivers. Sure, you can run all the World Majors (I plan to do all those, too) and compete for big prize money but realistically you probably won't see any of that money and even if you did, you probably wouldn't be proudly displaying the check - you'd cash it!'s Rock and Roll Series has progressing medals in what it calls the Heavy Medal program. You, of course, get a medal for each event you complete but if you complete multiple events in the same calendar year R&R rewards you with extra medals commemorating your accomplishments. In 2009, had 8 of these special medals which peaked with their Rock Legend medal for anyone of finished 7 of their events in a single year. Can't wait to see what they add to the Heavy Medal series now that there are 13 events!
But running them all next year also instills a sense of urgency in me. While I consider myself an avid marathoner and have 18 under my belt to date, the most I've completed in a single year is 5. Rock and Roll 2010 ups that number to 8. The rest of the 13 events are all half marathons (whew!). So I figure I better run them all now before there are too many events to complete is a single year - or my body can't rise the challenge anymore. I'm not a young guy at 41, but I'm not a spring chicken either.

It's going to be expensive registering for and competing in 13 events next year which is why I am seeking sponsors to help cover some of these costs - just registering for all 13 events costs over $1,200!! So if you work for a company looking to get some national exposure and association with the great causes of fitness, life-long health, and fighting cancer, I want you.

If you are simply a fan of running but believe in the need for funds to support cancer research, I encourage you to visit my donation page and show your support.

And if you will also be at any of these events, let me know by following me on Twitter (RnRJames). I look forward to meeting you, running with you and together finding a cure.

Have a great run today, will ya!