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Volume 24 No. 156

Events and Attractions

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series host cities Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe have “signed a new contract with Competitor Group, the California management group that produces the series, to continue Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona through 2018,” according to Jeff Metcalfe of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Since its ‘04 debut, the Arizona event "has been a star fixture in a series that began six years earlier in San Diego and now includes 26 North American and six European cities.” Competitor Group Exec VP Tracy Sundlun said, “I don’t think the sport would be the same ... without what’s taken place in Arizona. This is one of the world’s major events, now and forever.” Prior to the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego, "big-city U.S. marathons were usually serious events like the one in Boston, where runners have to achieve a qualifying time, or in New York, where it takes the luck of a lottery just to get in.” It was considered “revolutionary in the running industry for Elite Racing to put bands at every mile on the course and ‘spirit’ teams cheering their hardest to earn cash prizes and include a post-race concert.” Running USA Media Dir Ryan Lamppa considers the ‘04 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona to be a “watershed moment in the sport.” Lamppa said, “It changed the direction as far as growth, direction and buzz and had one of the biggest ripple effects.” Meanwhile, Metcalfe noted Scottsdale-based P.F. Chang’s “has been the Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona title sponsor since its inception and is in talks to extend its current 2014 contract” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/13).