Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – The Power of the Local Running Community

It takes a lot to put on a marathon. I wouldn’t know because I run them, but I do know that when I pay my registration fee and the day finally arrives, everything is ready–all I need to do is show up and run 26.2. Throughout my 86 completed marathons, I’ve run great well organized races and some not so great.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is owned and operated by The Competitor Group and is now the premier marathon series in the country, and going international. The growth of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series over the past five years has been epic. I personally compare the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to a corporation or chain restaurant that has grown very fast, gets caught up in red tape and usually loses touch with the local community. The one thing that will prevent the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series from going down that same path is their necessity to fully rely on the local support of the general community, businesses, running community and volunteers for it’s survival. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series absolutely charges more for a race than most and does somewhat take away the local feel as compared to say the Twin Cities Marathon–but there is no doubt they put on a good well organized race.

In Denver, my running group Runners Edge of the Rockies contributed tremendous support for this years Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, providing smart pacing groups and an aid station. This support is really due to the dedication of our founder and coach David Manthey and several of our members that were not participating, giving of their time to volunteer. Even members of Runners Edge of Kansas City traveled to Denver to help with the smart pacing groups. Our members have a very unique love of running and the desire for all running related events to succeed and are always willing to give of their time.

Heather Utrata – Female Winner

Another huge support of the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is our top local running store, Runners Roost. At the expo, they supplied several of their employees to 10 vendor booth’s along with a complete aid station. The Competitor Group was visible at several events throughout the year at Runners Roost stores, promoting and signing up participants for the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Even the day after the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Runners Roost provided free engraving of finishers medals and Brooks Running had its Cavalcade of Curiosities bus out front . John Schults, Ed Riegert and the entire crew at Runners Roost gives so much to our local running community and deserve major props.

I personally ran the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this year and give it a thumbs up. The expo was the perfect size and I loved the redesigned course. The organization at the start and finish line was top notch. The only disappointment was the lack of volunteers at some of the aid stations. I was definitely spoiled the prior week at the Twin Cities Marathon which in my opinion could be one of the most locally supported major marathons in the country.

My suggestion to The Competitor Group for the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is to work on getting the residents of Denver behind the marathon. Provide aid station competitions with either prizes or money for the top three which will increase volunteers and provide competitive excitement. Work on your PR with the local media to get Denver residents excited and enthused to support the runners. Though CBS Channel 4 provided coverage, they are more interested in the Denver Broncos and did not give the marathon the coverage it deserved. Sure the bands are a nice touch and it’s your trademark but spectator support is much more important to us runners. The cheerleaders were very uplifting! You now have the best marathon in Denver and the opportunity to improve it and watch it grow in the years to come.

Smart Pacers.

Thanks to all that volunteered and those that put in endless hours to make the Denver Rock n’ Roll Marathon a very nice event for me personally and all of us runners! YOU ROCK!

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