Despite Cancellation of Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon, Participants From Around the World able to Take Part in St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Nashville Through the Virtual Rock ‘n’ Road Trip

November 19, 2020

- Virtual event provides marathon, half marathon, 6.15-mile, 5k, 1-mile, and remix challenge options - Registration open for Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Club’s Rock This Town Turkey Trot where $1 for every registration will be donated to Feeding America for those facing hunger this holiday season - Over 10,000 participants from 92 nations join the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip first visit to Las Vegas, Nevada

NASHVILLE, Tenn. / TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2020) Despite not being able to physically join each other at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and ½ Marathon start line for the first time in over 20 years due to the recent impacts of COVID-19, the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip will bring Broadway to the global running community, offering five different distances to highlight one of the most iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series destinations. Following a virtual stop in Vegas that saw over 10,000 participants lace up for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Las Vegas, the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip makes its way to Nashville providing participants a virtual tour of Music City. St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Nashville will offer participants a Marathon, Half Marathon, 6.15-mile, 5K, 1-Mile and Remix challenge options to participate in. Registration for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Nashville remains open and available for FREE to the entire global community from Nov. 20 – Nov. 22. All Rock ‘n’ Roll® Virtual Running™ (VR™) Series races during the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip begin weekly on Fridays at 5 a.m. ET and close Sundays at 11:59 p.m. ET with participants being able to compete in the virtual tour stop anywhere, indoors or outdoors, as long as the distance of their choosing is completed in one session.

“While we were all looking forward to once again providing in-person racing options in Nashville, the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club platform continues to provide the global running community a way to be competitive, stay active and engaged in what makes our event locations so special,” said Elizabeth O’Brien, Managing Director for North America at the IRONMAN Group. “The virtual Rock ‘n’ Road Trip will provide participants both in Nashville and across the globe an option to channel the best of what Music City has to offer.”

Running with Reason – Ryan and Heather Kinder 

Ryan and Heather Kinder, Nashville, Tennessee

This bona-fide Nashville power couple, Singer/Songwriter, Ryan Kinder and wife, Mrs. Tennessee America 2019-2020, Heather Kinder, love running, music and their home community and are always looking to make a difference. Ever since moving to the “Hollywood of the South” to pursue Ryan’s music career, the city has become more than just the place they call home. “It’s a little big town—a big-city feel, but still pretty small,” says Ryan. Back in August, these two Rock This Town Ambassadors, joined members of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and ½ Marathon staff to deliver 8,100 non-sterile face masks to the Nashville Rescue Mission while taking on the Music City Challenge. “When I found out the Nashville rescue mission was going to benefit from this, it really excited me. We live in the neighborhood where they’re housing overflow from the rescue mission, and it’s been really cool to see these individuals having somewhere to live that’s a safe place and being taken care of by the community.” Despite disappointments and races being canceled, these two rockin’ runners looked to recommit and shift their goals. “This year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Nashville was going to be my first full marathon,” said Heather. “When it was originally postponed, my training went sideways. I met another athlete and he asked if I was still training, and why I gave up on that goal. It was a good question! I told Ryan I’m going to recommit. I’m handing over my Mrs. Tennessee title, and I’ll have more time on my hands.” Ryan said, “I was pretty disappointed when races were cancelled—I had two races planned. So, I decided to jump on board with The IRONMAN Foundation to raise money for IRONAID.” Learn more about this Nashville power couple and the difference they make in their community The Beat.

Nashville Inspired

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Club participants are encouraged to be Nashville inspired in their virtual activities and share photos and videos on social media by tagging #RnRVRNashville. Don’t live along Broadway, no problem. Here are several reasons why we love Nashville as well as some Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Trip prep on how runners and walkers can experience the best of the Country Music Capital in their own communities.

  • Music every step of the way: The race features 26 stages featuring the same bands every year so runners can look forward to friendly faces and familiar tunes. Les Kerr has even played at Stage 1 with his band Les Kerr and The Bayou Band every year for the event’s 20-year legacy. There is more live music at this event than most other races, including at the Expo and at the Kid’s Race. Find a local concert venue and run past with your best tunes on, like the sounds of Nashville were just around the corner.
  • Run 32 Laps for All 32 Honky Tonks: Make your miles count, the miles you run correspond to the bars Nashville is famous for. So, queue up some country, bluegrass, and blues and crank out those kilometers as you pass the likes of Nashville Underground, Tequila Cowboy, Paradise Park and Tin Roof Broadway, among the 32 iconic Honky Tonks lining Broadway in downtown Nashville.
  • A Marathon for Music Nuts: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville course, both 13.1 and 26.2 miles is a perfect run for the inner music lovers. Runners pass numerous famous recording studios, such as Dolly Parton’s rehearsal studio. Other highlights include running past the spot where Elvis Presley recorded “Ask Me” and “Memphis Tennessee,” and hearing the entire Belmont Church Choir serenade you from the steps of the church. Crank up the inspiration and high tail it past your favorite running locations as if you were running past a slice of music history.
  • Cruisin’ with some Country: A Nashville success story, Luke Bryan has been bridging the gap between urban and rural life with some of the most authentic country music on the scene. With tracks that feel equally at home on the porch as they do in the stadiums, Bryan’s relatable sound, use of upbeat melodies and huge choruses will give any runner the feeling that they are running down Music Row. Check out this week’s Apple Music playlist – Luke Bryan Essentials
  • Music City: A major center for the music industry, Nashville boasts a vibrant music and entertainment scene spanning a variety of genres. It’s never a dull moment in Music City. With a course that takes in a variety of Nashville neighborhoods and sights from Honky Tonk row to Belmont University to Shelby Park, and with its energetic finish at Nissan Stadium, this event is truly a feast for the senses, here are 10 things to do and see when you make it there:
  1. Explore downtown and visit the Bars and Honky Tonks on Broadway
  2. Don’t miss seeing the Grand Ole Opry
  3. Check out the Country Music Hall of Fame
  4. For something different, take a Mural Art Tour of Nashville by golf cart
  5. Tour Jack Daniel’s Distillery and try a tasting
  6. Try the Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s
  7. Stop by the Johnny Cash Museum
  8. Visit Printers Alley to take in some local Jazz
  9. Enjoy an afternoon run in Centennial Park
  10. Snap a photo at the Wings Mural in the Gulch neighborhood

Getting Started

To register for Rock ‘n’ Road Trip event, runners or walkers only need to sign up through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club platform and connect to their tracker app. Runners can then complete their registration by going to the “Events” tab and clicking “Register Now” for free on the virtual race page.

Through the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip, participants will be able to earn exclusive digital event badges for every race and distance they complete; download race bib to personalize the experience; reward themselves for their efforts with cool destination themed finisher medals and T-Shirts; and earn points redeemable for sweet swag and more at www.runrocknrollstore.com/rock-n-roll-vr. Finishers who complete the Remix Challenge also earn access to additional medals.

Looking Back – By the Numbers Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Las Vegas

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Las Vegas offered distances of a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K along with the Remix Challenge
  • More than 10,000 people from 92 nations and 46 states stepped up to the virtual start line for the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Series’ Rock ‘n’ Road Trip in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend.
  • Participants for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Las Vegas came from around the world and ranged in age from 19 to 83.
  • The United States led the way with over 7,000 walkers and runners followed by United Kingdom (over 450), Canada (just under 400), Mexico (over 300), and Portugal (over 100).
  • Other nations represented included Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Israel, Lithuania, Malaysia, Thailand, and Ukraine, among others.
  • Of the 46 U.S. states represented this past weekend, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Virginia, Florida, and Maryland.

Rock This Town®

In 2020, Rock This Town has distributed over $15,000 in grant funding to nonprofit initiatives and groups in the Greater Nashville region.  This support includes a $10,000 Humanitarian Relief grant to the Music City Inc., Foundation to assist with rebuilding efforts from the tornadoes that impacted Middle Tennessee earlier this year; as well as a $2,500 IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund grant to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to fulfill hunger needs. Additionally, last month, Rock This Town Ambassadors, Nashville Singer/Songwriter, Ryan Kinder and Mrs. Tennessee America 2019-2020, Heather Kinder, delivered 8,100 Operation IRONAID non-sterile face masks to the Nashville Rescue Mission for community members in need. Presently, over 2,600 runners have signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Club’s Rock This Town® Turkey Trot. Runners are encouraged to run a 5K or more between US Thanksgiving on November 26 and Giving Tuesday on December 1. For every runner that signs up, Rock This Town will donate $1 to Feeding America for those facing hunger this holiday season.  According to Feeding America, each $1 donation will provide 10 meals to individuals facing food insecurity. Applications for the fifth round of IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund grants are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on December 15, 2020. For more information about IRONAID visit ironmanfoundation.org/ironaid.

Full details and specifics regarding the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Series, Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club and Challenges are available on www.runrocknrollvr.com. For more information on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, please visit the website at www.runrocknroll.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@runrocknroll.com.


About Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® is the world’s largest running series taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. Established in 1998, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series simple idea of making running fun has transformed both the U.S. and global running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Focused on running, music and community, race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more. Events culminate with an entertaining finish-line festival featuring some of the biggest names in music, with past performances including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, O.A.R. Aloe Blacc, Pitbull, Flo Rida, The Band Perry, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Goo Goo Dolls and Bret Michaels. Further information about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series can be found online at www.RunRocknRoll.com and follow @RunRocknRoll on all social platforms.

About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance (www.advance.com), a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.