Destination – The Tempo Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series Blog Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:41:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Rock ‘n’ Run New Orleans in 48 Hours Fri, 22 Dec 2017 19:28:08 +0000 The Big Easy, NOLA, N’awlins – no matter how you refer to it, there’s no denying the unique spirit of...

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The Big Easy, NOLA, N’awlins – no matter how you refer to it, there’s no denying the unique spirit of one of the South’s most interesting cities. From the historic neighborhoods and jazz culture to the incomparable cuisine and haunting tales, the soul of New Orleans is felt wherever you go.

The 2018 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon takes place on Sunday, March 4 starting at Poydras St. at Camp St. and ending at Roosevelt Mall in City Park. Make it a full race weekend by taking the opportunity to explore the city’s diverse offerings.

Friday, March 2

Mardi Gras Masks

Health & Fitness Expo Day 1 starts at noon at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center – Hall J. Get there early to pick up your race packet and peruse the vendors who will have booths with running merchandise, including fitness apparel, accessories, health and nutrition products, and information. The expo is free to attend and open to the public, which means any non-race attendees traveling with you can pick up some swag too.

Enter the World of Mardi Gras

Of all the events New Orleans is known for, Mardi Gras tops the list. The city’s celebration is extravagant to say the least. If you’re lucky enough to be here for Fat Tuesday in February, you’ll have a chance to experience this one-of-a-kind atmosphere. However, a trip to Mardi Gras World can give you a glance into the wonderful world of Mardi Gras all year long. Plus, it’s an easy 5-minute walk from the Convention Center. Mardi Gras tours start every half hour and last approximately an hour. Guests will see what goes into creating the extravagant Mardi Gras floats and the history of where the carnival excitement stems from.

Grab Lunch with the King of BAM!

As one of the most well-known chefs of the South, famed restaurateur Emeril Lagasse chose New Orleans as his flagship restaurant. Emeril’s Restaurant pays homage Creole and Cajun cuisine with lunch options such as the Oyster Po’ Boy, Chicken & Waffles, and Andouille Crusted Gulf Drum to name a few. The food is top-quality, but the restaurant itself is low-key. Casual dress works just fine; they just request no sleeveless shirts for men.

Explore the Sculpture Garden at NOMA

Stroll through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art to witness 64 sculptures placed throughout the beautiful live oak and magnolia-filled landscape. You can take a free audio tour through your smartphone or just pass through at your leisure to admire the art. Admission to NOMA is $12, which includes entrance to the Sculpture Garden. It’s open until 6:00 PM on Fridays, meaning you have plenty of time to wander post-lunch.

Dine at a Casual NOLA Staple

Ask both visitors and locals alike where they should go to eat a traditional po’ boy, and most likely they’ll point you to Mother’s Restaurant. Mother’s has been around since 1938, and what they offer is a no-fuss, flavorful menu of Creole and Cajun goodness. They’re famous for their Ferdi Special, which is a ham and roast beef po’ boy served with au jus gravy. But there’s also crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, and red beans and rice that make up the menu. If you can’t make it for dinner, Mother’s is also open for breakfast. Ever tried a shrimp creole omelet or a egg po’ boy? If not, you can have your first here.

Saturday, March 3

Run New Orleans

After a full day of food and exploration, you still have another chance to stop by the Health & Fitness Expo to pick up any last-minute goods on Saturday starting at 9:00 AM. The Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans 5K also takes place on Saturday for those who want to warm up for the marathon or pace themselves with a shorter race. But there’s still plenty of New Orleans left to see! Here’s a sample roadmap to guide you through day two.

Start with Breakfast Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Saturday is the perfect day to make the French Quarter your homebase. The streets are filled with art, music, food, and other locally inspired shops and stops. Start at Cafe Du Monde, a place where people flock from far and wide to stand in line for their famed beignets and chicory coffee. Expect a generous dusting of powder sugar on those pastry delights – consider yourself warned!

Schedule a Garden District Tour

A walk around the French Quarter allows you to view some of the most beautiful architecture of the city. From hidden courtyards to wrought-iron balconies, you’ll feel transported back in time thanks to the architecture that makes up this area. The Garden District is one of the top destinations for travelers. Take a walking tour, and learn about famous people who live or have lived in and around the area.

Exploring New Orleans Neighborhoods

Visit the Grave of Marie Laveau

Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is revered in the South and you can visit her grave in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. In addition to the unique, above-ground tombs of New Orleans cemeteries, you may feel the spirit of Marie Laveau and the urban myths and beliefs that surround her tomb. If you want to get an up close look and pay your respects, new Archidiocese rules say you must be accompanied by a licensed tour guide. Book your tour ahead of time so you don’t miss out on the weekend you’re scheduled to be in New Orleans.

Sample Creole and Cajun Cuisine

Gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice are all part of the staples of Louisiana cooking. The best place to go is subjective to who’s giving the recommendation. But it’s safe to say that when in NOLA, it’d be tough to find a dish you didn’t like. Creole and Cajun flavors are bold and filled with spice. Make your way through the French Quarter and see what piques your appetite.

Sunday, March 4

Run New Orleans

The Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans ½ Marathon, and the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans 10K all get going on Sunday morning. If it’s your first time to run the course, you’ll have a course full of music and a crowd cheering you on every step of the way. If you’ve been running Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons for years, there still may be some surprises in store for you since the musical entertainment changes from year to year. We’re always looking for ways to make the race bigger and better.

Once you’ve crossed the finish line, take the day to celebrate at post-race concert and continue your tour of New Orleans. Make the most of your time in this hospitable city, and create a list of all the things you still want to do next time you return. Laissez le bons temps rouler!


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How to Rock ‘n’ Run San Francisco in 48 Hours Fri, 22 Dec 2017 18:38:18 +0000 The eclectic city of San Francisco has so much to offer those who visit. From fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf...

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The eclectic city of San Francisco has so much to offer those who visit. From fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf to panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge at Crissy Field, this city’s variety of humbling beauty and engaging entertainment will leave you in awe.

With plenty to do and see, planning a trip can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry – we’ve compiled some of the best things to do so you can be sure to hit all the must-sees. Below is one way to make the most out of your weekend trip to the vibrant city for the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Francisco!

Friday, April 6th

Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, & Nightlife

What better way to start the day than by indulging in the breakfast favorite of locals? Sweet Maple combines fresh, locally sourced ingredients with culinary creativity to produce delectable dishes. The well-known breakfast spot is populated with foodies and trendsetting San Franciscans. Fuel up for your day with an Asparagus Blackstone Omelet or indulge in cornflake-crusted French toast.

After breakfast, it’s time to check out a few of the cities vibrant offerings. Head on over to nearby Ghirardelli Square, where you can take in views of the city and enjoy the multitude of shops and attractions that the neighborhood has to offer. This beautiful landmark public square is the perfect place to kickstart a weekend of San Francisco fun.

Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco

A few blocks down from Ghirardelli Square is the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf, which is teeming with activities, shops, and, perhaps most notably, waterfront dining opportunities. Relax and enjoy a luxury dining experience at Chart House or explore the historic seafood stands for an experience like no other. There is something for everyone in the home of San Francisco’s fishing fleet. Attractions include the Maritime Museum, the USS Pampanito, Pier 39, the Sea Lion Center, the Hyde Street Pier, and the Aquarium of the Bay.

Now that you’ve explored a few San Francisco classics, it’s time to head to the first day of the Health & Fitness Expo at Pier 35. The expo is from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Make sure to stop by to peruse the expo floor and pick up cool swag before race day.

Since you’ve probably worked up an appetite, head down to a local favorite, State Bird Provisions, for dinner. This eclectic eatery serves dim sum style American small plates in an urban, rustic environment. Favorite dishes include the Pork Belly & Pluot Salad or the Carrot Mochi with Brown Butter. The menu changes frequently, offering up the city’s freshest take on local ingredients.

San Francisco’s nightlife is just as impressive as its daytime attractions. A plethora of clubs, bars, and lounges decorate the area. A common favorite is Madrone Art Bar, which expertly pairs live music and specialty cocktails with art in the form of photographs, video, paintings, mixed media, fashion, and much more. Embrace your creative side and enjoy a few cocktails while appreciating the artwork.

Saturday, April 7th

Muir Woods, Alcatraz, & Pier 39

Kick off your second day in San Francisco with another unforgettable meal. Famous for its fresh takes on classic dishes, Brenda’s French Soul Food joins Sweet Maple at the top of the list of local breakfast favorites. A variety of beignets, classic and eclectic egg dishes and delicious grits offerings make this place a prime destination for a culinary experience straight from the heart of Louisiana.

The Health & Fitness Expo is open earlier today, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Pier 35. Swing by, enjoy the vendors, and grab your swag if you didn’t get the chance on Friday. This is a great place to discover new things and get inspired to incorporate even more healthy habits into your lifestyle.

About an hour outside of San Francisco’s city center sits Muir Woods National Monument, famous for its towering redwoods. Trails lined with these beautiful trees create a serene atmosphere perfect for exploring with family or taking a peaceful solo nature walk. Lush greenery decorates the landscape where groves, bridges, and creeks greet you during your outdoor adventure through the woods.

Now that you’ve wandered through gorgeous Muir Woods, it’s time to fuel up again at one of San Francisco’s renowned eateries. Sticking with the tree theme, Spruce is a locally adored swanky spot for modern American fare. Located conveniently on the way back from Muir Woods, Spruce offers the perfect place to refuel and indulge. Handcrafted cocktails and fresh, seasonal dishes adorn the menu and make this place a popular gathering spot.

If you or someone you are visiting with is a history buff, the island of Alcatraz is also a must-see. Alcatraz can be accessed by ferry from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf. Facilities on the island have served as a military prison and a federal prison and stories of infamous inmates and escapes are often associated with the island. Take a tour and learn all about the interesting history of the prisons and about other happenings on the island.

Alcatraz San Francisco Museum

A few minutes away from where the ferry will drop you back off at Pier 33 is Pier 39. If you are looking for a bustling bayside attraction, this is the place to visit. Charming shops, sea lion sightings, entertainment, and ocean views are plentiful.

Dinnertime gives you another opportunity to experience the culinary wonderland that is San Francisco. Deemed one of the city’s most romantic restaurants, Foreign Cinema serves artfully crafted North African and Mediterranean fare. This established favorite blends cocktails, wine, food, art, and film into one magical experience. Menu items evolve with the chef’s ever-expanding creativity.

Make sure to relax tonight and get a good night’s sleep before race day!

Sunday, April 8th

Race Day & The Presidio  

Runners Celebrate Finish

Race Day!

After your San Francisco half marathon, celebrate your accomplishment by heading to the Presidio, a park and former US military fort. In the heart of the Presidio is Commissary, a renowned and beloved eatery featuring Spanish-influenced California cuisine. Delight in the locally sourced, seasonal fare and browse the mercantile for local cheeses and freshly prepared jams. After your well-deserved meal, enjoy a relaxing afternoon meandering around the Presidio.

Make your way over to Crissy Field where you can sit down and relax as you take in breathtaking views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. What better way to round out your trip to San Francisco?

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Get ready to enjoy this exciting, colorful city over the race weekend. We’ll see you in San Francisco for 2018’s race!

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San Antonio Legacy Runners Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:50:09 +0000 On December 3, 231 legacy runners from all different walks of life will be approaching the start line for their 10th straight Humana Rock...

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On December 3, 231 legacy runners from all different walks of life will be approaching the start line for their 10th straight Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon, having participated every year since 2008.

These people represent the dedicated runners who have been running in San Antonio since the beginning. Read more about each of our legacy runners below and find out their favorite moment of the past 9 years.

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How to Rock ‘n’ Run DC in 48 Hours Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:36:06 +0000 A visit to the nation’s capital is on nearly everyone’s bucket list as DC is full of rich history, monumental...

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A visit to the nation’s capital is on nearly everyone’s bucket list as DC is full of rich history, monumental attractions, and a thriving arts and culinary scene. The United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon & ½ Marathon takes place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, right around the time of cherry blossom season. While you’ll want to save your legs for race day, DC neighborhoods are walkable and also easy to access by bike or bus tour. There is plenty to do in DC that extends beyond the race weekend, which could mean a good time for an early spring break or extended weekend to the East Coast. And don’t forget to book through United Airlines to receive your exclusive Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon discount!

Friday, March 9

The Health & Fitness Expo officially kicks off the day before, but day two gives you the opportunity to return to any vendors you may want to revisit or grab last-minute swag. The expo is open to the public and free to attend, so bring your race buddies and travel companions to see if there’s anything they want to swoop up as well.

Honor History on the National Mall

It’d be remiss to bypass all the iconic monuments that line the National Mall. The Mall is bookended by the U.S. Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. In between the two is the Mall lawn where historical moments have taken place throughout the decades, including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. For 2018 race visitors, the Washington Monument will still be visible but is undergoing repairs to the elevator and will reopen in the spring of 2019. Regardless of any ongoing renovations, the National Mall and its monuments make up a great part of U.S. history. It is a significant part of the city and worth taking a long stroll down the lawn.

Enjoy Lunch in a Sculpture Garden

After spending the morning at the Mall, you don’t have to stray far to grab a bite to eat. The Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe offers up soups, sandwiches, pizzas, and salads for lunchtime fare. The pieces that make up the sculpture garden each have their own history and artistic inspiration. Entry to the National Gallery of Art and the Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public.

View Historical U.S. Documents

The National Archives Museum holds the historical documents on which the country was founded, such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Visitors can also view the Magna Carta and Emancipation Proclamation. This is a definite stop for history buffs, and passes are free. If you want to reserve them in advance, which is highly recommended to avoid the line, there is a $1.50 service fee per ticket.

Dinner in Adams Morgan

Adams Morgan is a diverse neighborhood made up of local restaurants and shops. The relaxed, trendy vibe has a welcoming, unhurried feel. Load up on carbs at Red White and Basil, which offers tasty dishes like seafood pasta, ravioli of the week, and three-course specials that include soup or salad, choice of entree, and a sweet treat at the end (either a cannoli or tiramisu). You can also make-your-own-pasta bowl by choosing your favorite, fresh pasta (gluten free is available), sauce, and any add-ons, including proteins like meatballs,chicken, or vegetables. An early dinner and a good night’s sleep is a successful recipe for waking up on race day feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Bonus Treat at Julia’s Empanadas

If you passed on a sweet, Italian dessert post-dinner, consider stopping by Julia’s Empanadas for a unique dessert option. Or you can get some to go and save them for after your race. Fruit-filled empanadas, such as the blueberry and cream or strawberries and cream cheese, are sure to hit the spot and end the day on a sweet note.

Saturday, March 10

Race day! The marathon, 1/2 marathon, and 5K all kick off this morning. Last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon welcomed headliner The Family Stone at the finish line to celebrate all the participants after a race well run. Stay tuned to find out who this year’s main musical event is!

Brunch or Bust at Cava Mezze

Once the race is through, it’s time for a satisfying brunch and a well-deserved rest to enjoy the remainder of the day. If there ever was a time for all-you-can-eat brunches, your first meal after running a marathon would be it. The brunch special at Cava Mezze is $35 plus 25¢ mimosas. The menu includes everything from biscuits and gravy to french toast to green eggs and ham. The only catch: everyone in your party must order the AYCE option, which shouldn’t be a problem if you’re with other runners who have also worked up an appetite.

Museums, Museums, Museums

There is no shortage of museums in D.C., so plan your day accordingly to visit the ones highest on your list. The Smithsonian Institute is an experience like no other. With buildings spread out across the city, map out your plan ahead of time to avoid backtracking. The Newseum gives an up-close look at the behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting on a news broadcast, while also presenting footage of some of the top news stories throughout history.

Other interesting museums to note are the International Spy Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Spending Time in DC

Leaders, lawmakers, and everyone in between have made their mark in DC, which leaves much to be uncovered about this prolific city. There are events that have gone down in history here, and your participation in the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon and ½ Marathon can be another one to add to the list.


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The Ultimate Race Weekend Checklist Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:03:39 +0000 Are you someone who leaves packing to the last minute? Or do you prepare days in advance and double check...

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Are you someone who leaves packing to the last minute? Or do you prepare days in advance and double check everything in your bags before leaving the house? Whatever your packing style might be, we have the ultimate marathon checklist to help make sure you don’t forget a thing on race day, whether you’re running a marathon or a half marathon.

Print it out, check off the items, and add anything to the list that will make your travels smoother and your race stress-free. After all, when it comes to a Rock ‘n’ Roll race, it’s all about having fun!

Download the Ultimate Race Weekend Checklist here.

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Travel Document Basics

You still have to abide by the same travel rules and restrictions as any other place you visit. Remember your ID, boarding pass, and any other documentation you might need to get from one place to another, especially if you’re traveling out of the country to attend one of our international races. In that case, check out The International Race Weekend Checklist.

It’s a good idea to have a go-to folder or zippered case that holds these all-too-important documents so you don’t have to rummage through your bags or risk seeing them ruined, lost, or stolen. Also, bookmark emails in your phone (or have printouts readily available) of hotel reservations, shuttle information, and other parts of your trip.

It may sound fun to just go with the flow, but when it comes to departures and arrival times, structure comes in handy. The chaos of traveling can be reduced with a little pre-planning and preparedness.

Race-Specific Remedies

Whether this is your first race or your fifteenth, you know your running style and how your body feels after a long run. While pain relievers may work for some, others may long for a hot shower filled with essential oils to recover. Pack what you’ll need immediately post-race to ease soreness and potential injury. Don’t forget to bring a foam roller to stretch your muscles before the race and to prevent soreness afterwards.

During the race, combat the sun with plenty of sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply. Bug spray, lip balm, and a mini hand sanitizer are smart items to have on hand as well. Research the climate you’ll be in the day of the race. A San Diego race in June will likely mean very different weather conditions from a Las Vegas race in November. Keep in mind the seasonality of where you’ll be and also the fluctuation of temperatures from night to day.

Don’t Go Anywhere Without Your Gear

Pack your running shoes, race day clothes, and any necessary running accessories. But don’t forget about what you’ll need pre- and post-race as well. Will you be sightseeing? Celebrating with a nice dinner? When customizing your own marathon checklist, think through each day of the trip and make piles of what you’ll need per day before placing everything in your suitcase.

This can help you visualize your essentials for your entire trip and make you feel confident you don’t leave behind anything important. Toiletries can always be purchased at your chosen destination, and hotels are becoming more accommodating with the items they provide upon request.

Prepping for the Race

Take it easy on your legs the day before a race. While you will want to stretch and keep them limber, limit walking long distances or engaging in too much strenuous activity since you’ll want to conserve your energy for the big day.

Try to get a good night’s sleep the days leading up to the race. Give yourself enough time to prepare and get to the start line the next day. If you have time, plan out your get-to-the-race route ahead of time, so you don’t get lost or stuck in traffic.

Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, and any runner knows preparation is key to make it a success. By planning your pre-race checklist and getting your bearings ahead of time, you decrease the risk of stressing out and spoiling the fun. Make it easy on yourself and plan ahead. See you at the next race!

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The International Race Weekend Checklist Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:05:34 +0000 Are you traveling to an international race? We have the ultimate marathon checklist to help make sure you don’t forget a thing...

The post The International Race Weekend Checklist appeared first on The Tempo.

Are you traveling to an international race? We have the ultimate marathon checklist to help make sure you don’t forget a thing on race day!

Print it out, check off the items, and add anything to the list that will make your travels smoother and your race stress-free. After all, when it comes to a Rock ‘n’ Roll race, it’s all about having fun!

International Checklist

If you’re traveling to a local race, use this handy Ultimate Race Weekend Checklist!

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Galen Rupp Takes on the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Sat, 16 Sep 2017 18:20:38 +0000 For all Galen Rupp has accomplished running at a very brisk pace from Point A to Point B – three-time...

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For all Galen Rupp has accomplished running at a very brisk pace from Point A to Point B – three-time Olympian, two-time Olympic medalist, too many U.S. records to count – there are a couple things Rupp has not pulled off on two feet.

He has never raced in Philadelphia.

He has never run a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event. 

And by world-class standards, he has not run a fast marathon.

Rupp will cross those first two items off his life to-do list Sunday when he laces up his Nikes and runs the American Association for Cancer Research Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. It’s the 40th anniversary of the event that begins and ends near the footsteps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Rocky statue in the near distance.

“It’s my first time ever in Philly,” Rupp said Saturday morning inside the expo at the convention center. “I’d always wanted to do one of the track meets. Now that I’m here, I’m excited.”

Those tales about tough Philadelphia fans, Santa Claus bombarded with boos by Eagles fans? Rupp knows nothing about them.

“Everyone has been so nice,” he said after being interviewed for a Facebook broadcast.

Likewise, he’s excited about experiencing the brand that brought entertainment to road racing.

“I’ve just heard they’re a blast,” Rupp said of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series. “My friends say they’re a lot of fun. You run a half marathon, that’s a long way. It helps to have some distractions. The fans, the bands every mile, the cheerleaders, that’s got to be a pick-me-up.”

Rupp, 31, is gearing up for the Oct. 8 Chicago Marathon. He has run only three marathons, winning his debut at the 2016 Olympic Trials, finishing third at the Rio Olympics, then placing third at this year’s Boston Marathon in a personal-best 2:09:58.

While there no doubt will be pressure at pancake-flat Chicago for Rupp to drop his PR, he insists that won’t be his primary objective.

“Winning,” he said, “is the most important thing.”

Rupp’s half marathon personal best is 1 hour, 30 seconds, set more than six years ago in New York. Might that PR fall Sunday on the streets of Philadelphia? Might Ryan Hall’s U.S. record of 59:43 tumble?

Said Rupp, “I’d like to give it a shot.”

He’s expected to be pushed by Jared Ward, his marathon teammate at the Rio Games.

The women’s half marathon field is loaded. Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic 5,000-meter champion Meseret Defar is expected to run stride for stride with American Jordan Hasay, who finished third in her marathon debut last April in Boston.

Hasay’s 2:23:00 time at Boston was the fastest debut marathon by an American woman by nearly three minutes. Two Boston Marathon champions will also be in the field, Kenyan Caroline Rotich and Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba.

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What to Do When Visiting Montreal Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:44:32 +0000 Traveling to Montreal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon, runners will enjoy all the experiences that Rock ‘n’...

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Traveling to Montreal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon, runners will enjoy all the experiences that Rock ‘n’ Roll events have to offer pre- and post-race with the bonus of seeing some of the sites and heritage of this beautiful city.

This year, Montreal is celebrating its 375th birthday, with a busy calendar of major events that includes Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal marathon, bike and car races and rallies sporting events, concerts, festivals, light and fireworks shows, street fairs and parades. This website provides information on amazing events and opportunities that will be held this year.

Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. Founded in 1642 and originally called Ville Marie, it is named after Mount Royal, which is the high ground of the city on the island of Montreal located along the Saint Lawrence River.

Montreal is a very walkable city. A great way to travel around Montreal is by using the Metro. A one-day pass costs $10, and a three-day pass costs $18.

For me, a must-see evening site includes the top of Place Ville Marie with its amazing 360° view of Montreal! By day, you want to take in the view from the top of Mount Royal Park, providing an amazing opportunity to walk through the trail system and enjoy the views of Montreal.

Montreal Montreal

Walk through Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal), the oldest area of Montreal, and experience a 94-acre historic area with old world charm, narrow cobblestone streets, gas lamps, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Allow time to explore Notre Dame Basilica at Place d’Armes Square, the second oldest site in Montreal. The historic Old Port (Vieux Port) area is a broad promenade along the Saint Lawrence River that is best seen by walking around using a self guided map from Tourism Montreal.

For unique shopping, visit the underground city (33K of walking opportunities), the famous open air markets of Jean Talon and Atwater, and don’t go home without purchasing 100% natural Canadian maple syrup!

A visit to Montreal is not complete without walking Saint Laurent Boulevard, “the street with everything.” Saint Laurent Boulevard, or as locals call it, “LaMain,” starts in the old city, passes through Chinatown, the main bar district with excellent selections of Quebec wine and micro brews, little Portugal, and Little Italy. Walking in this heritage site provides a visitor with an opportunity to experience the district’s cultural sites, restaurants, shops, art, and entertainment.

For a true taste of Montreal, try a smoked meat sandwich: beef brisket that is dry rubbed with a spice mix known as Montreal steak spice (garlic, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dill seed, and salt) marinated, smoked, sliced, placed on rye bread, served with cole slaw, pickle and French fries. For a unique take on the fries, try Poutine (French fries and cheese curds in a light brown gravy), a popular distinctly Quebec food that is found across Canada.

Montreal Montreal

Montreal’s famous bagels are a unique take on bagel making. The handmade bagels (black seed poppy or white seed sesame) are smaller, sweeter and denser than a New York style bagel and are boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked in a wood oven. Montreal also has an excellent range of bread bakeries (boulangeries), pastry shops (pastries) and cafes where you can try specialized cupcakes, donuts, French pastries, traditional buttery baked goods, croissants and baguettes.

Recovering from your Montreal marathon or a day of walking, experience the “Joie de Vivre” that is Montreal!

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My Return to New Orleans – Thanks to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Tue, 12 Sep 2017 22:12:04 +0000 As Hurricane Harvey wreaks devastation on many communities throughout Texas, I can’t help but flash back to Katrina and how...

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As Hurricane Harvey wreaks devastation on many communities throughout Texas, I can’t help but flash back to Katrina and how she left New Orleans in total havoc, almost exactly 12 years ago in 2005. I visited New Orleans in 2007, and much of the city was still in shambles. Home sites that were a heap of rubble, torn down but left to rot. Rats that were larger than my house cats, running rampant through the streets, along the shelves of convenience stores and behind the scenes in many restaurant kitchens. Feral cats had been released at some point in an attempt to control the rat population; however, the rats outgrew those feral cats. Bourbon Street was about the only thing “happening” in town. But the bars and restaurants along that strip were eroded and dingy, and the floors were sticky. It reminded me of college days long gone, where my feet would stick to the floor at fraternity parties. Bourbon Street was one big frat party in 2005. A frat party with strip clubs. About every second or third storefront in those days had women, partially clothed, standing in the doorway, soliciting visitors. I can’t say I was impressed. Our short trip was too long, and I vowed never to return to New Orleans.

Fast forward to 2016. I earned my first spot on the Rock ‘n’ Blog team. It was a leap year. My mom and I always travel on leap day, for personal reasons. 2016 was a leap year and the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans event was on February 28. So perfect. Mom and I were off on a whirlwind trip to New Orleans. Yes!!

New Orleans

I was immediately surprised with how much had changed in New Orleans. New infrastructure.  New shiny hotels. Sleek restaurants, both old and new. A city bursting with pride, in respect to their history, what they had endured and what they had become. A city full of LIFE. This was going to be a RACEcation to remember, and I was thrilled to have Mom at my side to share in the adventure!

We were very interested in the history of New Orleans and spent lots of time being tourists, seeing the sites, and eating ALL the food. We stayed in the French Quarter at Hotel St Marie, and it was the perfect location. It was historic but updated with modern conveniences. Perfect.

New Orleans

As for the race itself, Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans is one of my favorite races to date. I don’t feel as if I’ve ever run a race that’s compared. It was more of a running “tour” of the city than an actual race. The course, the city, the running is why I will travel to a race. I’ve never run another race that packed so many sites into one run course — or maybe other cities don’t have as much to see? You’ll have to judge for yourself. But I’ve now run 43 marathons, and Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans is one of, if not my all-time favorite.

Here are five things you can expect from Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans:

1. Big crowds. More than 35,000 runners visit the city of New Orleans, and most of those people bring friends, family and stay a few days (or more) to soak in the ambiance of the city.

2. Best run course ever. Tour includes Garden District, French Quarter, Decatur Street, Jackson Square, the French Market, and City Park, where the half marathon splits. The marathon then loops over the levies for a rolling out-and-back next to Lake Pontchartrain, returning to City Park for the finish.

3. Huge after-party. If you run for the party, then the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series was designed for you. Beer. Band. Food. Fun.

4. Long shuttle lines. Although this wasn’t the best part of the race, there was plenty of time to post on Facebook and Instagram about the fun I had. And maybe take a selfie or two.

New Orleans

5. Best SWAG. Rock ‘n’ Roll realizes that we want SWAG we can wear and use on a frequent basis. So they started giving out jackets for marathon finishers. I wore this jacket nonstop last year. Cool finisher medal, too!

New Orleans

Here are five things NOT to miss in New Orleans:

1. Ghost tours. So.Much.Fun. And lots of history, too.

2. Local cuisine. Fried and blackened alligator, seafood gumbo, crawfish po’boy, crab stuffed jalapeno poppers, beignets, café au lait, catfish, redfish, shrimp, fried green tomatoes, chicken tchoupitoulas, creole green beans, creole jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, and shrimp and grits.

3. Trolley/streetcar ride through the Garden District.

4. Beignets. Cafe du Monde is certainly the most famous, but beignets can be found throughout the city.

New Orleans

5. Jackson Square. Historic area. Lots of street vendors and artists display their work for sale around the Square.

New Orleans

So much awesomeness in New Orleans, running and otherwise. I’d highly recommend Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans for your next destination race! More info and the full review of my trip HERE.

Happy Running!

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How to Rock ‘n’ Run Los Angeles in 48 Hours Thu, 07 Sep 2017 22:32:48 +0000 Los Angeles is a trend-setting metropolis with star power that attracts visitors from across the globe. While L.A. is aptly...

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Los Angeles is a trend-setting metropolis with star power that attracts visitors from across the globe. While L.A. is aptly named the entertainment capital of the world, don’t let the bright lights of Hollywood distract you from all this sprawling city has to offer. This cultural mecca has more theatres and museums than any city in the nation. Catch some rays along the 75 miles of iconic coastline stretching from Malibu to Long Beach. Shop among the rich and famous at the chic boutiques on Rodeo Drive. Stroll through some of its lively and diverse neighborhoods. End the day at the Griffith Observatory with a different kind of star-gazing.

If you’re in town for the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles races, be sure to make the most of your trip. We’ve mapped out some perfect options for you to explore this vibrant city. Indulge your mind (and your taste buds). Paradise is calling.

Friday, October 27th

Tart Restaurant

An ever-popular hangout among locals, Tart Restaurant, located in the Farmer’s Daughter hotel, serves up trendy dishes and hearty classics. The charming, stylish eatery is best known for their eclectic brunch offerings, including Chicken and Waffles with Tabasco maple butter, Breakfast Lasagna, and Crab Potato Benedict. Guests are free to sit in the modern farmhouse-style dining room or outside in the comfort of the mild Los Angeles weather.

LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art

You may recognize LACMA by its iconic Urban Lights display, but the museum’s offerings extend way beyond this iconic installation. The museum is constantly adding new and exciting displays, including awe-inspiring paintings and thought-provoking sculptures. The learning experience is enhanced with programs, films, and classes offered throughout the year.

The Grove

The Grove is a premier lifestyle center and shopping destination located in West Hollywood. This shopping mecca is lined with luxury and boutique shops, as well as renowned eateries and trendy pop-ups. At the center of it all is an elaborate fountain that entertains guests with hourly light-enhanced water shows. At the opposite end of the center sits The Original Farmers Market, a city staple serving LA since 1934. A red trolley runs throughout the center to transport guests from one end to the other.

Hollywood Blvd

Several unique theaters with varied offerings line Hollywood Boulevard, leaving you with a multitude of options when it comes to shows. The Chinese Theater, Dolby Theater, Egyptian Theater, El Capitan Theater, and Golden Age Theater feature a mix of live shows, world premieres, films, and special events.


This iconic amusement park will leave you dazzled. Stroll along cobblestone streets, embrace your inner child on the rides, indulge in an abundance of treats, and take in the whimsical sights. For even more amusement park fun, buy a park hopper ticket so you can access both Disneyland and the adjacent park, California Adventures.

The Griffith Observatory

This is the best place to come to enjoy expansive views of LA and to expand your knowledge of astronomy. The building itself offers panoramic views of this movie star-lit city and the iconic Hollywood Sign. Programs, shows, and events engage and entertain visitors. The dome shape of the famous Samuel Oschin Planetarium offers a unique and immersive visitor experience.

Sporting game

With tons of teams and sports to choose from, a sporting event won’t be hard to include in your visit to LA. Whether you’re into basketball, hockey, baseball, football, or soccer, LA’s state-of-the-art arenas and stadiums set the stage for an unforgettable experience cheering on your favorite teams.

Comic Con

Since you’ll be in LA at the time of the event, we encourage you to get involved in Comic Con festivities. The event itself is a one-of-a-kind explosion of pop culture. If attending the event is not in the cards for you, the environment around the LA Convention Center will be buzzing with Comic Con excitement! Up to take the Rock ‘n’ Roll Super Hero Challenge? By attending Comic Con and rocking the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles 5k or Half Marathon, you’ll receive an exclusive finisher medal–on top of other one-of-a-kind perks.

Saturday, October 28th

Alfred Coffee & Kitchen

This ultra-trendy tea and coffee shop exudes the chic, stylish aesthetic that characterizes LA. From floral-infused tea lattes to coffee classics, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen has positioned itself as a not-to-be-missed beverage destination. Do as the locals do and sip a tea latte while browsing the surrounding boutiques.

Commissary at the Line hotel

Despite its less-than-obvious visibility from the street, Commissary is a delicious and popular destination for hungry LA locals. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a lush, bright ambience as a result of the greenhouse structure that encloses the restaurant. Unique, fresh, and hand-crafted dishes decorate the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch menus.


Running north of Beverly Boulevard and south of Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue is a beloved street lined with a variety of entertainment, shopping, and dining destinations. Because of its central location and diverse businesses, Melrose has cultivated its own distinct personality, which attracts visitors from all over the country.  

Bottega Louie

Famous for its beautiful (and delicious) dessert options, Bottega Louie functions as a restaurant, gourmet market, patisserie, and cafe in downtown Los Angeles. The posh, upscale ambience complements the artfully crafted dishes and delicate pastries. Whether you’re dining in for a full meal or stopping by for a couple macaroons on the go, you are sure to be delighted by the Bottega Louie experience.

Universal Studios

Set in the movie capital of the world, this theme park offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in their favorite movies. Among the movie-themed rides and studio tours are character sightings, special effect shows, and animal actors. The famous Harry Potter World brings the books and movies to life with rides, attractions, shops, and the Hogwarts Castle.

Santa Monica Pier

Often used as a set for films, the Santa Monica Pier redefines beachside fun. The giant pier is packed with rides, restaurants, shops, and attractions. Once you’ve explored, the beaches on either side of the pier offer a nice place to sit and enjoy the crashing waves and buzzing LA energy.

Halloween Festivities

Halloween brings with it a plethora of fun events to enjoy throughout the city. Restaurant specials, haunted houses, trick-or-treating opportunities, and theme parties are plentiful. Special events include Halloween and Mourning Tours at the Heritage Square Museum, the Haunted Hayride at Griffith Park, and the famous West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnival.

Sunday, October 29th

RACE DAY! This is the day you’ve been training for. So lace up and enjoy your run.

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