Rock ‘n’ Road Trip Heads West to Speed City for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose, Offering Participants a Virtual Tour of Silicon Valley with Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Remix Challenge Options

September 30, 2020

- Presale registration for 2021 United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose opens Friday, October 2 in conjunction with Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose at www.runrocknroll.com/Events/San-Jose - Featured Rock ‘n’ Roller Bertrand Newson of San Jose along with Too Legit Fitness will take runners on a tour of San Jose via Rock ‘n’ Roll Instagram throughout event weekend - Nearly 9,500 participants from 92 nations join the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip during the fourth tour stop in Dallas, Texas

SAN JOSE, Calif. / TAMPA, Fla. (September 30, 2020) Following another exciting weekend of running that saw nearly 9,500 participants hit the virtual streets of Dallas, Texas, the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip tour bus packs up and heads west to California’s Speed City – San Jose, California. Home of the booming tech industry, Northern California vibes, and one of the fastest half marathon courses on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series circuit. The fifth stop in the 15-race virtual running tour across the United States, Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose will offer Rock ‘n’ Rollers the opportunity to set their personal best on the streets of California’s third largest city. Registration for the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose is open and available for FREE to the entire global community from October 2-4, with options of a Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Remix challenge. 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. Participants that are in California, including the host city of San Jose, should be sure to follow local guidelines and check the air quality in the area before participating outdoors.

This weekend’s stop in San Jose brings multiple options for runners and walkers of all skill levels inclusive of half marathon, 10K and 5K distances as well as the popular Remix Challenge for those who take on multiple distances. Home to tech giants such as Cisco, eBay, Adobe, PayPal, Samsung, and Zoom, San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley and a bastion of the entrepreneurial spirit. Look a bit closer, and one will find something more than just big tech: a city chalk full of outdoor adventures and a passion for running. Nicknamed “Speed City,” after the legendary San Jose State track teams of the 60’s which included 1968 Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos, San Jose has a long history and special connection to the sport of running. The United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose course is revered on the half marathon circuit for delivering consistent world and state record times. What does this mean for average runners? We’re talking PRs and a beginner-friendly race experience. And as one of the first events to open for registration for 2021 you can start to get excited about returning to the physical event in October 2021. For those interested in signing up for the 2021 United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose, pre-sale registration will be open for the duration of Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose weekend, beginning on Friday, Oct. 2, (9 a.m. PST) and closing on Sunday, Oct. 11 (11:59 p.m. PST) at www.runrocknroll.com/Events/San-Jose.

Featured Rock ‘n’ Roller 

Bertrand Newson – San Jose, California

Over the weekend, Too Legit Fitness captain Bertrand Newson will be taking over the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Instagram Story and invites participants to join him and his running group as they run through their favorite Bay Area locations. Too Legit Fitness, a running and fitness team based in the Bay Area, has bloomed to approximately 800 members in the past few years and is one of the largest running clubs in the South Bay. The club always has a powerful presence at the United Airlines Rock ’n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon, and will be volunteering as pacers for the 2021 event. “We were founded on camaraderie, fitness fellowship, and celebrating each other’s success,” Newson says of the diverse club made up of “all shapes and sizes.” The group is also active outside of racing, giving of their time to numerous community organizations, charities, and food banks in the area. “It’s not all about PRs and bling,” Newson, a certified running coach, jokes. “I couldn’t be prouder of the team in that aspect. There are always ways to pay it forward, whether it’s local park clean-ups, donating used race shirts and shoes, or working at a senior’s center,” he says, naming a few of the group’s recent endeavors. Several of Newson’s team members have used the Rock ’n’ Roll Virtual Challenges and races to stay active and motivated throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “From a coaching perspective, it’s been fantastic,” says Newson. “We’re all seeking a bit of normalcy as we deal with the curveballs the pandemic has thrown at us. Having a slice of the goals that are feeding our health and fostering community—it’s great stuff, almost a form of therapy.” Rock ‘n’ Rollers can experience San Jose follow in Bertram’s and Too Legit Fitness footsteps over the weekend at www.instagram.com/runrocknroll/.

San Jose Inspired Running/Walking Plans

Participants are encouraged to be San Jose inspired in their virtual activities and share photos and videos on social media by tagging #RnRVRSanJose. Don’t live in the Bay Area? No problem. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Trip has some tips on how runners and walkers can experience Silicon Valley in their own communities with some insight from Jay Ridgeway, a runner who grew up in San Jose. Ridgeway is the head coach and owner of PacWest Endurance, the running group that paced the physical race since its first year in 2006 and will be passing the torch to Too Legit Fitness:

  • Speed it up: This race got its “Speed City” nickname from the legendary San Jose State Track Teams of the ‘60s, and from the records set on this course—from Worlds, to master’s, to numerous state records. Itching to see where all your weekly speed work and weekend 5K VR’s have landed you? Let “California’s Fastest Half” inspire you by picking a distance that will test your top-end. Ridgeway says that even though the race, with its minimal elevation gain, is highly competitive, it does take some strategy. “There are lots of tight city street turns—it’s how you navigate to maintain consistent pacing, hugging the corners without losing momentum,” he says. Don’t just pick an easy, flat and fast route; go to an urban area where you’ll have to think on your feet but can still run safely and speedily.
  • Take on a Trail time: Mix things up and head to your area’s best trail system to complete your virtual San Jose race. San Jose is crossed by several regional trails, most notably the Guadalupe River Trail, Los Gatos Creek Trail, and Coyote Creek Trail. These trails extend from near downtown San Jose for dozens of miles to the north and south.
  • Stop and smell the roses: The Municipal Rose Garden is one of the most overlooked features of San Jose. “A lot of people don’t realize it, but it’s really pretty,” says Ridgeway. Find a local spot that may be under the radar and share photos from your run through and why it’s a spot you appreciate.

Fun Run Prep for the Rock ‘n Rollers

  • Shake-up: For those in the San Jose area, Too Legit Fitness will be hosting a 5K shakeout run on Friday, October 2 beginning at 5:30 p.m. local time. Join up at the San Pedro Square Arch for a warm-up before an enjoyable community run downtown.
  • Wine-down: Sip on some California vino to celebrate your VR. The award-winning J. Lohr Winery calls San Jose home. If you’re a wine lover, see if you can find a bottle from one of the wines they’ve sustainably farmed for decades from around California.
  • No ‘holes’ barred: Psycho Donuts in San Jose’s SoFa district is a local mainstay. This isn’t your average donut shop; choose from options like the Jasonut with a “bloody” raspberry filling and a powdered sugar hockey mask, the Sticky Donut, a bananas foster-inspired donut, and the ‘Mello Submarine that’s reminiscent of a Rice Krispie Treat, just to name a few. Find your city’s best doughnut shop and treat yourself!
  • “Going back to Cali…”: There’s nothing like the crackle of energy at a live performance, whether it’s the roar of the crowd at a concert, thunderous applause from the seats in a theater, or contagious laughter at an improv show. San Jose offers it all; the San Jose music and performing arts scene brings the city alive with year-round action. Explore the constantly evolving music scene to discover any of the talented up-and-coming artists in one of San Jose’s many music venues such as The Ritz, Café Stritch and many more. For those looking for some California inspired music to run or walk to, check out this week’s Apple Music playlist – West Coast Hip-Hop Essentials
  • Soaring through San Jose: Heading to the Bay Area this weekend or planning a future visit? Here are 10 things to do and see when you make your way to San Jose.
  1. Jog down Santana Row
  2. Check out the Winchester Mystery House
  3. Enjoy some post-run BBQ at Henry’s Hi-Life
  4. Smell the Roses at the Municipal Rose Garden
  5. View the Wide Selection of Wines at J. Lohr Winery
  6. Immerse yourself in Japantown
  7. Admire the architecture of Basilica of St. Joseph
  8. Discover Willow Glen
  9. Visit the California Theatre in the Sofa District
  10. Check out Monopoly Park

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 to Rock ‘N’ Roll VR Dallas – By the Numbers

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Dallas offered distances of a 10K and 5K along with the Remix Challenge
  • More than 9,500 people from 92 nations and 46 states stepped up to the virtual start line for the fourth stop on the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Series’ Rock ‘n’ Road Trip in Dallas, Texas this past weekend.
  • Participants for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Dallas came from around the world and ranged in age from 20 to 82.
  • The United States led the way with over 7,000 walkers and runners followed by Canada (over 350), United Kingdom (over 350), Mexico (over 300), and Portugal (over 100).
  • Other nations represented included Australia, Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Moldova, Netherlands, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, among others.
  • Of the 48 U.S. states represented this past weekend, the greatest number came from Texas, followed by California, Virginia, Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

Giving Back While Rock’n This Town

When disaster strikes our race communities, like the serious situation with the California wildfires, we call upon our Rock ‘n’ Roll and IRONMAN community to support relief efforts. It is the mission of the IRONMAN Foundation and Rock This Town to create positive, tangible impact in our race communities through grant funding, volunteerism and relief efforts. Rock This Town, the charitable program of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series will be donating $5,000 to support San Jose’s wildfire recovery through the San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties Wildfire Relief Fund. Interested in helping with the wildfire relief, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/relief/ or City of San Jose Wildfire Relief: How you Can Help.

Additionally, more than 7,100 athletes have signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Club State 48 Challenge which ends today, Sept. 30. For every State 48 Challenge runner, Rock This Town will donate $1 to the Tommy Rivers Puzey recovery fund as he battles a rare form of cancer. Tommy is a beloved endurance athlete based in Arizona, the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon men’s champion, two-time defending Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon men’s champion and an accomplished IRONMAN athlete. Through Rock This Town’s IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund grants, Operation IRONAID Nutrition, and Operation IRONAID Face Masks in partnership with Framebridge and supported by Good360, over 2.5 million people around the world have been supported since March. Applications for the fourth round of IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund grants will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET tonight, Sept. 30. For more information about IRONAID www.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® presented by Westpac, 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.