Get Ready to Rock'n'Roll with the Changes

When Rock’n’Roll took over National Marathon, everyone wondered what the changes would be. Will the race be better managed? Will parking be easier? Will it be more fun with bands on the course? Will aid stations be better stocked?

We won’t know the answers until race day. But one change that has many runners frustrated is that they are required to pick up their bibs in person. This means that you cannot have a friend pick up your bib but MUST go to the Armory yourself and pick it up. From the race web site:

All runners (including each Relay Team member) must visit the expo to pick up their own race number, swag bag and t-shirt.

  • Dates: Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16
  • Location: DC Armory at 2001 East Capitol Street, S.E. Washington D.C., 20003
  • Expo Hours
    • Thursday, 12:00pm-7:00pm
    • Friday 10:00am-7:00pm

The National Marathon always allowed bib pickup for others, as long as you had a copy of their photo ID. Some years I had my bib picked up, other years I went down and picked up for fellow runners.

It saved time. It saved money. Heck, it saved the environment since, instead of several people driving down individually, one person could drive. And it made sense. BUT – it also meant fewer people at the expo.

And this is the only explanation I can find for Rock’n’Roll requiring that each runner show up in person: to make money. More bodies = more people buying stuff at the expo.

Rock’n’Roll does not allow bib transfers, either. Did National Marathon allow them? I don’t recall.

Maybe the caption should read: "It's all About the Buck"...

Are you running Rock’n’Roll USA? Is the new packet pickup requirement going to cause a problem for you?

I’d like to know your thoughts on these changes. 



  1. I’m not running this year, mostly because last year was not awesome for me, so I wanted to see what changes RNR did before I ran theirs. I’m usually the one who goes and picks up multiple bibs, so I wouldn’t be as inconvenienced as some, but I would find it irritating. I’m sure it”s a combination of what you mentioned and to make it more difficult to “unofficially transfer” a bib. Who’s going to want to travel to the Armory to get a bib they aren’t running with?

    I don’t think we could transfer last year, but I’m not 100%sure of that. I’m not a fan of race organizations not allowing transfers, especially now that races fill up so fast so early. It’ll be interesting to see how this all works out in the end.
    MCM Mama recently posted..Sometimes the stars alignMy Profile

  2. We couldn’t transfer last year either. RNR is notorious for charging $$$ to pick up bibs and they do promise the vendors a certain # of runners at the expo, but given that the race is a Saturday, that sucks, since most people work on Friday and have a very difficult time getting to the Armory on Friday! Good luck!!!

  3. They also took until only a few weeks ago to finally post the course online, despite being largely the same with a few minor tweaks. Oh and they still don’t have a link for the elevation profile. One month to go and it is little things like this that make me wonder if anything has changed from some of the issues in the past. At least this year, I hope they remember to put mile markers on the course.
    LesserisMore recently posted..Re-Defining The Marathon TaperMy Profile

  4. I have a new rule for my racing: I refuse to sign up for any event that doesn’t allow race day packet pick up. It’s really simplified my racing schedule and is saving me a lot of hassle. 🙂

    After driving 6 hours round trip to get my packet for MCM, I vowed to never again do a D.C. packet pickup. If they offered an option of having it mailed to you for a fee, I would be all over that.
    Kara recently posted..Coon on a Cold Tin RoofMy Profile

  5. I know a lot of people were excited abut RnR taking over the National Marathon, but I was not. I associate RnR with crowded races, high prices, and stuff like having to pick up your own bib. Very commercialized!

  6. I really wanted to run it but when I read about having to pick up my packet in person, I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. Two trips downtown in as many days is one too many.

    • Marcia, that’s a great question and I’ve tried to answer it in other posts myself. I think it’s hype from the marketing…which of course they can afford. I think only runners can change this by not signing up for these circus events. Have you run any good, inexpensive races in Chicago? I’d love to list them in my cheap races section.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge