Rock n Roll AZ Review: My Mid-Pack Experience

I've ran the Rock and Roll Arizona course a number of times... but this was my first run from the "middle" of the pack. I saw aspects of the race I'd never seen before!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the Rock n Roll Arizona thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out to find and write race reviews. All opinions on the race are my own.

The Expo was awesome, as all Rock N Roll expos are. A runner's dream. I met up with a fellow #TeamNuun member and we got our pic with the P.F. Chang's dragon that's always a hit out on the RnRAZ course.  (P.F. Chang's is also the main sponsor, and at their booth they were handing out SANGRIA and gift cards!)

I hit up the Rock N Bloggers tweet up at the main stage. Great, fun ladies that I'm so glad I got a chance to meet!

Afterwards we all went to the #RunEatTweetAZ meetup that I was organizing. I was so glad we had such a huge turnout! Awesome people, awesome prizes... the only downside was I wish I had more time to get to know each and every person who came out.  Next time! :)

Originally I had high hopes to PR on this course like I did last year.  But alas that wasn't going to happen on this race. My sister and her family came into town to run with me, so I decided to move back from corral 1 to run with my nephew in corral 7.

Overall the race was still amazing, but my legs weren't responding... muscles felt heavy and injury-prone spots were flaring up. This run really made me re-evaluate my current goals, but that's all for another post.

The race always starts chilly, but warms up super fast, so bring "throw-away clothes". They'll get donated to GoodWill later.

Because I was running slower and trying not to over do it, I got to see some amazing runners with awesome stories out there.  I know these kind of runners aren't unique, but slowing down really allowed me to take it all in.

 From an Army guy running in full gear, including a 50lb pack! To circus entertainers, pregnant runners, even newlyweds! It really helped put the race into a whole new perspective for me.

so many bands, but this one was especially awesome!

I FINALLY saw the dragon on the course! They usually stick to mid-pack and I had to snap a quick pic.
one of my all time favorite parts of this course, the Asian drums!
The course is flat except for a climb right before Mile 9. But it's a quick one, and the prettiest part of the course, so you've got scenery to take your mind off of it. It's actually a climb I've ran many times on my own and love it for those mid-run selfies! :-D

I was especially excited about running RnRAZ this year b/c the course goes RIGHT BY MY APARTMENT now! My partner and niece were able to just walk out the front door to cheer us on.  With pups in tow of course.

The Swag is always awesome with rock and roll and this time, full marathon finishers even got a finisher's jacket! Was super jealous I didn't do the full just for this! The medal is also very unique for AZ. For the next three years the pieces will all fit together into one big SUPER MEDAL. Pretty cool.

Got my "Desert Double Down" for running RnR Vegas & RnR AZ!
On the note of the medals, I know there was a "scare" that they wouldn't make it to the finish line... all due to circumstances beyond the race's control. But doesn't it speak volumes that the race organizers warned participants ahead of time "just in case" instead of waiting until they didn't arrive to back pedal? Nevertheless, the medals were there waiting for all finishers and they couldn't have been more awesome!

Post-race was full of the usual chocolate milk, powerbars, fruit, bagels, etc. I couldn't carry it all.

I always recommend running Rock N Roll Arizona to my friends and family. My friends and I both love this course. Especially for a PR! So many of my friends PRed this year. And the finishing weather was what you would expect from AZ, perfect!

So all in all, Rock n Roll AZ is one race you don't want to miss!


  1. It sounds like a great race with awesome scenery! I'd love to run it one day.

  2. I'm so glad the medals made it in time. I had so many friends running it and it was their first time. I know they would've been so disappointed without a medal at the finish! Great recap. You guys had perfect weather, I was just a few miles away doing another race and it was gorgeous!

    1. Yeah, people were really in an uproar about it... but all ended well and everyone got the chance to walk away wearing their medals! :) And yes, it was super gorgeous!

  3. Glad you had a fun race! But sorry to hear about your legs not feeling it.
    I agree, I think RnR did the right thing to warn people about the possibility of the medals being late. I would rather have transparency than a cover-up any day! So glad that pups got to see you run! So cute!

    1. Thanks, and yeah.... not my best race but regardless an awesome experience as always!

  4. That looks like such a fun race! To be honest, Arizona hasn't really appealed to me as a place to run or visit until I started reading your blog (and seeing some of the insane landscapes you run through!). Plus I flew through Phoenix on my last trip and practically had my nose pressed against the window, staring out at all the natural beauty.

    Glad you had a fun experience in corral 7! I can't even imagine what life is like in corral 1, but I imagine there's a lot less time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak! :)

    1. You should TOTALLY come out to a race, especially as a "winter escape"! :) Everyone that visits me here is always surprised by how pretty it really can be.


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