Rock 'n' Roll Running Series

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The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series is a collection of road running events owned and operated by the IRONMAN Group's Competitor Group, part of Advance Publications.[1] The series is known for lining race routes with live bands, cheerleaders and themed water stations.[2]


There are 31 events in the Rock 'n' Roll Series spanning 9 countries. In 2012, Competitor Group organized its first marathon outside North America when it acquired the organizing rights for the Madrid (Spain) Marathon.[3]

Marathons and Half Marathons[edit]

2019 Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon finishers medal

Past Events[edit]

Charity controversies[edit]

In 2008, the Competitor Group took over Elite Racing, the company that had been organizing the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. The following year, 2009, an internal audit revealed that the charity in whose name the race had been run, Elite Racing Foundation for Children, Education & Medical Research, had been improperly commingling funds with the for-profit Elite Racing. It further found that the foundation was being operated "in many instances for the benefit of the for-profit,” and that the charity's role in hosting the races had been overstated. As a result, the race had benefited improperly from hundreds of thousands of dollars in public subsidies and grants. In announcing the results of the audit, Competitor said it would return $190,500 to San Diego County and $152,544 to the city of San Diego, spend the remaining foundation funds on health and wellness causes, file amended tax returns, and dissolve the foundation.[4][5] Competitor Group made the final payments in October 2009. Altogether the company returned $344,176 to the city and county.[6]

In September 2014 Saint Louis University School of Law professor Yvette Joy Liebesman sued Competitor Group,[7] alleging a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act in the handling of volunteers for the October 2012 race in St. Louis.[8] The class-action lawsuit claims the company partners with charities to create a “a veneer for recruiting free labor” but the race events are for-profit and do not serve a charitable purpose under the law.[9] The company asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, but this was denied, allowing the suit to go forward.[10]


  1. ^ Drape, Joe (2 June 2017). "Chinese Billionaire Adds Rock 'n' Roll Marathons to Growing Ironman Empire". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Home Brooks to Sponsor Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series". American Track & Field. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Run Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series". Competitor Group, Inc. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  4. ^ Yang Su, Eleanor (May 15, 2009). "Rock 'n' Roll race organizers to return money". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "Rock 'n' Roll Marathon To Return Public Funds". KGTV San Diego 10news. May 15, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  6. ^ Yang Su, Eleanor (October 5, 2009). "Marathon organizers finish repaying city, county". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Toler, Lindsay (October 17, 2014). "SLU Professor Sues Rock 'n' Roll Marathon for Fraud, Exploiting Volunteers". Riverfront Times. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Marcus, Jon (June 8, 2015). "Race Volunteer's Lawsuit Against Competitor Group Will Go Forward". Runners World. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Helliker, Kevin (May 28, 2015). "Lawsuit Alleging Volunteers Are Exploited Can Proceed". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 8, 2015.

External links[edit]