Rock ‘n’ Road Trip Stops in the Midwest for Bose Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Chicago, Offering Participants a Virtual Tour of the Windy City with Half Marathon, 12K, 5K, and Remix Challenge

October 7, 2020

Featured Rock ‘n’ Rollers Claire Conway of Chicago, Ill. and Amy Heveran of Chicago, Ill. share why they love to run Chicago

CHICAGO, Ill. / TAMPA, Fla. (October 7, 2020) After last weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll VR® San Jose that saw more than 10,000 participants run virtual streets of Silicon Valley, the Rock ‘n’ Road Trip tour bus makes its way to Chicago, Illinois for a date with a recently retired classic on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series circuit. Between the picturesque cityscapes, cultural attractions, and distinctive art and cuisine, there’s no place quite like Chicago. Bose Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Chicago will offer Rock ‘n’ Rollers the opportunity to hit the virtual pavement on the streets of the country’s third largest city. Registration for the Bose Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Chicago is open and available for FREE to the entire global community from October 9-11, with options of a Half Marathon, 12K, 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.

For years, the Windy City played host to an old favorite on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series tour, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, and is currently home to the Chicago Marathon, one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors; it’s fair to say running and Chicago go together like beer and deep-dish pizza. Local runners love their hometown routes, whether it’s logging miles along Lake Michigan or the famed Magnificent Mile, or past Willis Tower, Soldier Field, Chicago Theater. Chicagoans are also hardy, known for doing “polar runs” throughout negative temperatures in the winter, or marathon training along the picturesque Lakefront Trail.

Featured Rock ‘n’ Rollers 

Claire Conway – Chicago, Ill.

Chicago-based runner and Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon devotee Claire Conway got into running as a means to an end. “I was a swimmer who wanted to be a triathlete – I had to figure out this running stuff,” Conway explains. And figure it out she did. Conway is now a committed half-marathoner. She has celebrated her birthday every year by running the Rock ’n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and has also completed the Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Last year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon served as the kick-off to her Chicago Marathon training. Conway, 35, is a therapist who works with 7 to 14-year-olds who are experiencing suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression. She brings her love of fitness to her work: “I tell the kids if you’re in your room feeling down and depressed, walk down the stairs. Now walk back up. Now go outside. Getting your body moving gets your brain feeling different.” Applying all her learnings from running has helped her practice, especially with kids involved in gangs who need that adrenaline. “They’re used to getting cortisone from such dramatic events that talk therapy isn’t going to grab them and make them feel good,” she adds. “Every time I wear my rainbow Rock ’n’ Roll face mask, the kids absolutely love it,” she says. When quarantine hit, Conway turned to what she knew would help her keep functioning at her best, too. “I was on the computer 6 to 8 hours a day with kids, trying to keep them engaged and happy. On the weekends, the virtual races, both with IRONMAN and Rock ’n’ Roll, helped keep me connected to people. The weekend was all about fitness and getting moving, because I didn’t have that opportunity during the week.” Conway added, “Triathlon and running are part of the self-care plan I have for myself.” Conway shares how she has become a “run-cationer” over the years and why VR keeps her motivated in The Beat.

Amy Heveran– Chicago, Ill.

Amy Heveran, 38-year-old high school physical education and health teacher based in Chicago is a well-known personality in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series community. A Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series Hall of Famer, Heveran has crossed over a 100 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series finish lines reaching her milestone at the 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio and continuing into 2020. Also, a founding member of Black Sheep Running Club, Heveran is a force when it comes to rounding up friends for fun at start lines all over the country. She shared her favorite perks of participating in virtual racing (VR) with her fellow Rock ‘n’ Rollers on The Beat. “The number one thing that comes to mind about virtual racing for me is simply toeing the line,” said Herveran. “It can be super challenging just crossing the threshold of the door, and VR is motivation to do that—just get out of the house and put running shoes on. Read more about Amy’s journey to becoming a Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer and 100-plus time finisher on The Beat.

Chicago Inspired Running/Walking Plans

Participants are encouraged to be Chicago inspired in their virtual activities and share photos and videos on social media by tagging #RnRVRChicago. Don’t live in-or-around Chi-town, no problem. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Trip has some tips on how runners and walkers can experience this gem of the Midwest in their own communities with some insight from featured Rock ‘n’ Roller, Claire Conway.

  • Lakefront long run: Chicago is one of the only cities in the world that boasts a public lakefront bike and run path that clocks in at 18.5-miles long. “It’s so easy to be motivated when you’re in an environment where everyone out there is doing something in motion,” says Conway, a Chicago-based runner. “The great thing about training in Chicago is you can run without stopping for cars, red lights, unpaved areas, or jagged sidewalks.” Find your local lake or public trail and get out for a long one.
  • River ramble: The Chicago Riverwalk is another favorite for locals. If your city has a recreational path along a river, complete your virtual race along this stretch for a taste of another side of Chicago.
  • Get Magnificent: The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s premier commercial district, spread out along Michigan Avenue. The bustling area is home to upscale shops, luxe fashion outlets, cool restaurants and posh hotels. Landmarks include the historic Chicago Water Tower, the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, the terracotta Wrigley Building skyscraper and the 100-story John Hancock Center, which has a rooftop observation deck with fine dining and panoramic city views. Find your city’s luxury shopping strip and complete one of your miles there.

Fun Run Prep for the Rock ‘n Rollers

  • Laugh it off: The Second City, located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, is where many famous comedians got their start. The venue delivers hilarious improv night after night. Wind down from your weekend of running with a flick from one of its alumni, such as Bill Murray, John Candy, Steve Carell, Mike Meyers, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, and more.
  • Deep dish recovery: Deep-dish pizza is a big deal in Chicago. Visitors from around the country make it their top priority to sample more than one slice of this layered, almost lasagna-like goodness (Locals are split between loyalty to Chicago mainstays, Gino’s East, Giordano’s, and Lou Malnati’s among others). No matter your preference, you can’t go wrong with deep-dish after a weekend of running. Can’t find a Chicago-style pie locally? Settle for your favorite style of pizza, or, if you’re up for it, take on a homemade pizza pie.
  • “Sweet Home Chicago”: While well-known for the distinctive forms of Chicago Blues and Jazz, this midwestern music capital is home to variety of different musical genres spanning soft rock, disco, prog, fusion and even claiming fame as the birthplace of House Music. Chicago offers a little bit of everything. Runners are encouraged to turn up the beat and explore this City’s constantly evolving music scene. For those looking for some Chicago inspired music to run or walk to, check out this week’s Apple Music playlist – Inspired by Chicago
  • The Chicago Loop: Heading to the shores of Lake Michigan this weekend or planning a future visit? Here are 10 things to do and see when you make your way to Chicago.
  1. Walk and shop the Magnificent Mile
  2. Check out the Chicago Architecture Tour River Cruise
  3. Enjoy an afternoon run on the Chicago Riverwalk
  4. See the city from 1,353 feet above the streets of the Willis Tower Skydeck
  5. Take a photo opp with The Bean at Millennium Park
  6. Visit Grant Park and its 319-acre green space referred to as Chicago’s front yard
  7. Eat at Time Out Market – it’s so much more than a food hall
  8. Scarf down a Chicago style hot dog at Superdawg’s Drive-in
  9. Walk through an outdoor art gallery at the 16th Street Murals
  10. Check out Wrigley Field

Bose laces up with Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club

The Rock ‘n’ Road Trip has teamed up with Bose to take participant runs to the next level on four upcoming virtual stops this fall: Chicago, Clearwater, Savannah, San Diego and select Wednesday Workouts. As runners gear up for these upcoming events, they should keep an eye out for Bose-powered challenges where they will have the opportunity to win a pair of the brand-new Bose Frames Tempo. Rock ‘n’ Rollers can now experience high-quality sound — without headphones. That is the magic of Bose Frames Tempo: high-performance sport sunglasses with a revolutionary Bose Open Ear Audio™ design that allows participants an ability to hear their music and their surroundings at the same time for a workout unlike any other. With a sweat- and weather-resistant design, a durable, lightweight nylon frame, and soft, silicone nose pads, Tempo is designed for comfort and performance. As a proud partner of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Club, Bose understands the importance music plays in a runner’s life.  Learn more on The Beat.

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 San Jose – By the Numbers

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose offered distances of a Half Marathon,10K and 5K along with the Remix Challenge
  • More than 10,000 people from 87 nations and 46 states stepped up to the virtual start line for the fifth stop on the Rock ‘n’ Roll VR Series’ Rock ‘n’ Road Trip in San Jose, California this past weekend.
  • Participants for Rock ‘n’ Roll VR San Jose came from around the world and ranged in age from 20 to 82.
  • The United States led the way with over 7,500 walkers and runners followed by Canada (just under 400), Mexico (over 350), United Kingdom (over 300), and Portugal (over 100).
  • Other nations represented included Angola, Bahamas, Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Venezuela, among others.
  • Of the 48 U.S. states represented this past weekend, the greatest number came from California, followed by Texas, Arizona, Virginia and Florida.

For those interested in signing up for the 2021 United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose, pre-sale registration is open through Sunday, Oct. 11 (11:59 PST) at www.runrocknroll.com/Events/San-Jose.

Giving Back While Rock’n This Town

To date, over $300,000 in funds have been distributed to 120 health-related charitable organizations around the world through Rock This Town’s IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund. Additionally, through 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 fifth round of IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund grants are currently being accepted. For more information about IRONAID visit, 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.