Overall Rating
Overall Rating (51 Reviews)
3.5
(51 Ratings)  (51 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.4
SCENERY
3.2
PRODUCTION
3.6
SWAG
3.2
Celebrate the start of a new year with a tri-city foot tour through the Valley of the Sun! Run through the butte-iful red sandstone formations of Papago Park, snap a selfie in front of colorful art installations, and soak up the southwestern style while dancing and dashing through the streets. … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Jan 13):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  54  76  72  67  69
L (°F)  38  55  44  38  40
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Recent reviews

    CG23 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Arizona had a cold spell, the race morning was in the upper 30’s but warmed up nice for a brisk morning run. Temps got into the mid to upper 50’s, … MORE

    Arizona had a cold spell, the race morning was in the upper 30’s but warmed up nice for a brisk morning run. Temps got into the mid to upper 50’s, coming from Montana (-20 degrees) Arizona was nice.
    The course was an out and back but was enjoyable. A few hills but nothing too strenuous.
    The Expo had lots of selection for souvenirs and was a nice venue in downtown Phoenix near Chase Field. The finish line was a great location and had plenty of space and excitement to celebrate the accomplishment.
    Good experience overall

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    lancenull REPEAT RUNNER '24

    The 20th edition of the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona featured a new course for the half marathon and the 10k replaced the full marathon. There are supposedly 53 legacy runners … MORE

    The 20th edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona featured a new course for the half marathon and the 10k replaced the full marathon.
    There are supposedly 53 legacy runners left, now that the marathon and half marathon legacy runners are combined.
    The new course starts on Mill avenue, conveniently near a light rail stop, making travel to and from the race very easy. There are also nearby parking structures if you chose to drive in.
    The course runs over the bridge, past the zoo, through Papago park and out into Scottsdale, before turning around on a parallel path back to Tempe town park.
    Packet pickup is at the Phoenix convention center, which is also easily accessed via light rail.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
    SCENERY
    4
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    3

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    Paddy FIRST-TIMER '24

    This a good race for Arizona. The course is pretty flat. A couple of hills, one around mile 3 & another around 9. They are long but not real steep. … MORE

    This a good race for Arizona. The course is pretty flat. A couple of hills, one around mile 3 & another around 9. They are long but not real steep. The weather was low 40s, never got more than 50s. Race starts in Tempe, which has a great street of restaurants & bars, plus ASU is right there. Packet pick up is in Phoenix, very basic. I recommend staying in Tempe. There is a light rail train that goes between the 2. Lots of energy in the race & the scenery is great. Shirt is basic, medal is pretty cool.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
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    3

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    R & R did a great job, execution at every level. Start was good, well done, finish was also good. A very good course, out and back. Lots of bathrooms, … MORE

    R & R did a great job, execution at every level. Start was good, well done, finish was also good. A very good course, out and back. Lots of bathrooms, so not problem there. Exit was a little tight because of all the people. 8500 1/2 marathoners. 5000 10K ers. Really a great crowd. Parking at my garage was free 201-South Ash Ave. for runners, they started charging later on. Exit out of town was easy and fast. Police presence was right on the money.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    johnbizzell FIRST-TIMER '23

    Pretty good course had a mix of concrete, pavement, crushed rock, and dirt/mud. Mostly flat. A lot of turns and some 180s. I’d run it again. MORE

    Pretty good course had a mix of concrete, pavement, crushed rock, and dirt/mud. Mostly flat. A lot of turns and some 180s. I’d run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    I live in Tempe, so I thought getting to the race would be a breeze. I even inquired at information at the expo about where to park. However, when trying … MORE

    I live in Tempe, so I thought getting to the race would be a breeze. I even inquired at information at the expo about where to park. However, when trying to get there, all the roads to the parking were closed with no one from race staff available to help direct people, so I parked pretty far away.

    The race went well, but as it was one of my first real races, I was a little shocked by the hills. That’s really on me though, as I don’t think I properly prepared by studying the race course as well as I should have.

    The finish line was a bit of a disappointment though. My wife tried to go there to cheer me on, but told me later that it was blocked off and she couldn’t figure out where to go to actually spectate. It was blocked off to people cheering basically.

    Then I had to walk back to my car nearish the start line. That was horrible as it was a 20 min walk…

    I’m registered for the 2024 half marathon as I’ve decided to give it ONE more chance. Hopefully, they fix these issues.

    DIFFICULTY
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    Runningmom3 FIRST-TIMER '23

    I’ve ran a few Rock n Roll half marathons and I was pretty excited for the Arizona being my first full marathon. Usually the crowd turnout is fantastic for RnR … MORE

    I’ve ran a few Rock n Roll half marathons and I was pretty excited for the Arizona being my first full marathon. Usually the crowd turnout is fantastic for RnR which keeps runners going!

    I’m pretty disappointed with how the race went though! The tracking system wasn’t accurate and only available through the RnR Running Series app. The expo was pretty sad and barely gave any swag. The gear check had the wrong address in the final race day info and there weren’t any signs how to get to the starting line with road closures. The crowd turnout was ultimately the hardest part though!! There were absolutely no fans for the last mile. It was blocked off. There were only 1400 marathon runners so it was a pretty quiet “big” race.

    Mile 16-18 were uphill which really made runners lose momentum and mile 25 was also uphill. There was a long stretch for runners to walk to get to the final celebration area. Volunteers weren’t helpful or celebratory. It was really bizarre.

    Three pros: the bands were great and the course was relatively easy until mile 16. There were plenty of water/endurance/aid stations too.

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    clintcarpenter FIRST-TIMER '23

    My first "Rock n Roll". The organization had the business side of the marathon down. The expo was full and everything was organized to move you through smoothly. However, the … MORE

    My first “Rock n Roll”. The organization had the business side of the marathon down. The expo was full and everything was organized to move you through smoothly. However, the race itself was just “ok”. I liked the live entertainment (which varied widely in quality), but the nature of running by them meant I only ever got snippets of a song.
    There were some beautiful miles of the course on parks or river side, but the bulk of it was on city streets. Most of the time the streets were only partially closed so we were running with traffic on one or both sides of our reserved lane. That was a big negative for me.
    Aid stations were plentiful, but it felt like the vast majority of the support on the run was from the paid entertainment and aid stations. Nearly no signs or cheering to break the monotony of running through buildings next to traffic.
    I will not be seeking out other “Rock n Roll” marathons and instead looking for ones more connected to community or place.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    2
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    3

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    Bettejh1 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This 5k exists because of the half and full marathons the next day. I think the RnR race events try to get as many runners as possible to register. This … MORE

    This 5k exists because of the half and full marathons the next day. I think the RnR race events try to get as many runners as possible to register. This is a well-planned event, the race morning set up is easy to get to, organized well with lots of space for runners and the after-race tents. The course is pretty plain, through Tempe, on closed paved roads. Not much elevation gain or loss although there is one longish incline in the first mile and a couple declines that you can use to your advantage. There are no AG medals. I was 1st AG, but I do not need another medal. I ran the 5k last year pretty slowly with a friend/client who is new to running, and then ran the half marathon the next day. Def much more going on during the half…anyway, I’d recommend this to locals, but I would not travel far for this 5k.

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    3
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    2

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    Mueller375 FIRST-TIMER '23

    Friday - Expo - Smaller than expected but smooth as silk. Saturday - 5K - 8am start time is not my favorite I prefer an earlier start time. However they … MORE

    Friday – Expo – Smaller than expected but smooth as silk.
    Saturday – 5K – 8am start time is not my favorite I prefer an earlier start time. However they closed off roads pretty early making uber & public transit much harder than expected. Thankfully they updated WAZE so as long as someone is using it you will be fine. Renting a scooter to get to and from is my suggestion for a smooth exit especially if you have sore legs.
    The Start line is about .75-1.5 miles from the finish line so be prepared to limp back to the car. Renting a scooter to get to and from is my suggestion for a smooth exit especially if you have sore legs.
    I hope they move the 10K to Saturday as well

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    Mueller375 FIRST-TIMER '23

    Friday - Expo - Smaller than expected but smooth as silk. Saturday - 5K - 8am start time is not my favorite I prefer an earlier start time. However they … MORE

    Friday – Expo – Smaller than expected but smooth as silk.
    Saturday – 5K – 8am start time is not my favorite I prefer an earlier start time. However they closed off roads pretty early making uber & public transit much harder than expected. Thankfully they updated WAZE so as long as someone is using it you will be fine. Renting a scooter to get to and from is my suggestion for a smooth exit especially if you have sore legs.
    Sunday – Half – 7:55 is when the first wave starts but lots of the roads start shutting down at 630… so you’re stuck waiting in your car for well over an hour which is annoying. It started raining at 630 and didn’t let up until about 830 when coupled with the wind and the 45 degree weather… it was one of the worst starting lines I’ve been through.
    Once the rain stopped the rest of the race was great. Mile 8-9.5 are all uphill so brace yourself for that. The Start line is about .75-1.5 miles from the finish line so be prepared to limp back to the car. Renting a scooter to get to and from is my suggestion for a smooth exit especially if you have sore legs.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    edge FIRST-TIMER '23

    Definitely a race worth doing and I assume most years the weather is a bit nicer than it was this year. Course was okay but nothing special. MORE

    Definitely a race worth doing and I assume most years the weather is a bit nicer than it was this year. Course was okay but nothing special.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
    SCENERY
    3
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    3

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    kellrox FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my second rock n roll marathon after running San Diego. I was surprised that I enjoyed this one much more. The weather was ideal in January. There was … MORE

    This was my second rock n roll marathon after running San Diego. I was surprised that I enjoyed this one much more. The weather was ideal in January. There was plenty of water stations. I enjoyed the live bands and support throughout. The course had many spectacular views such as downtown and desert landscape. The medal was amazing. The one thing that wasn’t great was the finish line. It would have been nice to have more than a banana and water after running a marathon. The expo had a lot of vendors and gave a few freebies

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Chinanow FIRST-TIMER '22

    RNR post covid is definitely not RNR back in the heyday...however it is RNR. The race was good. The 5K was Saturday and half and full on Sunday. Start was … MORE

    RNR post covid is definitely not RNR back in the heyday…however it is RNR. The race was good. The 5K was Saturday and half and full on Sunday. Start was easy and the course wasn’t bad…there were inclines so hill train. It did start getting warm so definitely wear sun screen. They had course entertainment, my favorite was the Native American Hoop dancer…really beautiful. Overall it was a nice race for RNR.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    bjfuller2000 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Another great race from the people at RnR Marathon series. Perfect weather and amazing scenery. One of the best races I’ve ever run!!!! Highly recommend. MORE

    Another great race from the people at RnR Marathon series. Perfect weather and amazing scenery. One of the best races I’ve ever run!!!! Highly recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    tiffwhit FIRST-TIMER '22

    I have run 6 other RnR halfs. I registered for the 2021 race, RnR cancelled the race and deferred it to 2022 - Covid happens right? Well, two days before … MORE

    I have run 6 other RnR halfs. I registered for the 2021 race, RnR cancelled the race and deferred it to 2022 – Covid happens right? Well, two days before I was to leave MN for AZ my child tested positive for Covid. I immediately contacted RnR and got no response. My race partner contacted RnR two days later, informing RnR of the scenario and was offered to defer her race entry. I contacted RnR again and was told NO, this would not be offered to me. I had to either show I was positive with Covid or forfeit my fee. Knowing that I could test positive within 14 days I was astounded that RnR would not provide me with a deferral. I am so disappointed with the disparage application of their deferral policies and the idea that they would put profit before runner safety.

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    dlmartin REPEAT RUNNER '22

    They're back!!! After two years of not having a live race, the Rock n Roll Arizona event and organizers came back in tip top form and with great enthusiasm. I … MORE

    They’re back!!! After two years of not having a live race, the Rock n Roll Arizona event and organizers came back in tip top form and with great enthusiasm. I have completed several RnR Arizona events since its inaugural day and this 2022 race production, course, music and volunteer support was exceptional, especially considering all the hurdles and obstacles that needed to be overcome, not only for the race organizers, but for the participants, too.

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    Bettejh1 FIRST-TIMER '22

    The Arizona R&R was Basic. Everything was managed well, the course was not overly difficult or easy, there was minimal community support and not a lot to look at. However, … MORE

    The Arizona R&R was Basic. Everything was managed well, the course was not overly difficult or easy, there was minimal community support and not a lot to look at. However, “managed well” counts for a lot if you’ve run some that are managed poorly. The packet pickup was on Friday noon to 7 and on Saturday starting at 9AM. This required a trip to Phoenix on Friday if you were also running the 5k on Saturday. The 5k started at 8am, so there was no choice but to go to the “expo” on Friday. I picked up both packets/shirts for the 5k and the half on Friday. The expo was pretty small, mostly clothing and shoe vendors, but it was quick to get through and out. Lines on Friday were short. You could change your corral, check out the pacers table, and switch shirt sizes, etc.
    The 5k started and finished at the location where the full and half would finish the next day. This was a good way for my support to know where to find me on Sunday. She lives in Phoenix so I was at her place most of the weekend. She and I ran the 5k together. Easy course, in town, mostly commercial areas, not much community presence. But, free parking and easy access.
    We opted to get a room nearby (Comfort Inn on Scottsdale Rd) Saturday night so she could go back to sleep after dropping me off at ASU. At first we thought we might be stuck by closed roads as our hotel was practically in the middle of the course, but we shot down Scottsdale, followed a line of cars dropping people off and I got out. Walked 2 blocks. Easy.
    I’ve run hundreds of races and I gotta say: they had all the porta-potties. Not once did I wait in a line. And I went a lot. It was cold!!! LOL
    10k took off 30 min before the full and half. I had a throwaway coverup from an old OC half and was glad for it; once I got into my corral and was surrounded by warm bodies I was good to leave it on the barrier railing when we started to move.
    In both the 5k and Sunday races we were not only in corrals but also at the start line we were separated as we went off: there were 9 “gates” (think of horses lining up at the track) and every 2 seconds they let people go. It was pretty cool and it kept the crowd from becoming the mob we are all used to at the start of a race. I was grateful and pulled my mask off around the first quarter mile; I did not toss it on the ground. I put my arm through the strap; being considering of the earth.
    Now, I really study courses on race sites I’m going to run. I knew the half was a slight over-all incline the first 6 or 7 miles, but I also know that doesn’t mean all up…it means some up and some down with an OVERALL incline. Almost all the incline sections were hardly noticeable and the slight downhills were a nice break. I was on track up to mile 9 to get my usual goal of breaking 1:59:59.
    BUT!!! there are 2 mighty long climbs around mile 9. Up, up and more up. Then, down about 60% as long as the climb. U-turn and climb that again…and then down…whew, glad that was over…except I forgot there is just a mean little hill right after that! Turn right and there it is. It’s not super long but your legs are gassed from the 2 big climbs so it is a struggle. The last 3 miles were mostly flat or slightly down. The last half mile is sort of a climb…the bridge is a hump. LOL…I’m writing this less than a week after so it is all fresh in my head!
    The finish line for the half and full was the only real downer (no puns) of the whole event. The finish like is not set up for spectators (it is at the end of a bridge)…you have to walk about 100 yards to get out of the barriers and the people waiting for runners are all jammed up against the railing at the end. I saw my friend completely pushed up against it and wondered how she would get out. As I left the runner-only barriers, the crowd pretty much swallowed up runners as we tried to get to daylight.
    Then, just as you think you are out of the crowd, there was a Heineken rep with a big barrel of zero alcohol beers right there with a small patio umbrella stopping progress….really bad planning in a pandemic or a moving crowd any time.
    Anyway, I found my friend. I decided not to stand in line for the medal they were giving runners who had completed 2 distances. I already had 2 medals; the third was not any better symbol of my effort than the 2 I had. I don’t know if there was more to do, see, eat or drink since I wanted to get out of the crowd. I did have my better half back home check the tracking app and since I was not in the top 3 of my AG, we didn’t wait for those medals.
    I loved, loved, loved getting to run with my friend and pushing her to a 90 second PR for her second ever 5k. I didn’t mind at all that I would have gotten an AG medal for that if I’d run my pace…cuz I can’t run with her often and I my heart was full.
    All in all the Arizona R&R was an easy race to navigate and run. I probably would not do it again unless there was a major sale on the entry. Even if I lived in Tempe, I wouldn’t say it is a must do. I’m signed up for the New Orleans 5k (I was already going to be there that weekend for other reasons so why not?). Hoping the medals are more music themed and that AG medal is around my neck when it is over!

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    rajarvis91 FIRST-TIMER '22

    -I really enjoyed this one -This was my first Rock N Roll series race and I really enjoyed it. I liked the bands at every mile -The course was flat … MORE

    -I really enjoyed this one
    -This was my first Rock N Roll series race and I really enjoyed it. I liked the bands at every mile
    -The course was flat with a small little hill towards mile 9 I believe
    -Plenty of water/gatorade stations
    -I liked the course scenery (I’m not from around here)
    -Would have been nice to have a few more food options for the post race goodies. I feel like they were limited to like 3 things-a bag of chips, fruit snacks, and maybe a bag of cookies. However, they did give out cases of alcohol. I saw multiple people walking around with cases. I’m not a drinker, so I didn’t partake.
    -My complaint is for the medals. If you run for the medals, like I do (what can I say, I like my bling 🙂 ), then this wouldn’t make the cut. Very disappointed in the size of the medals. For as big as this race is, I would have thought they would have been a tad bigger. I’ve ran multiple halfs and this is the smallest one I’ve seen. Very, very small. Very disappointed. Hate that I traveled 20 hours for this race and got the smallest medal ever. 🙁

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    AmySue FIRST-TIMER '22

    The Rock and Roll Running Series are popular and there is a reason. They are well-managed, located in fun locations, and If you register early enough, reasonably-priced. The local music … MORE

    The Rock and Roll Running Series are popular and there is a reason. They are well-managed, located in fun locations, and If you register early enough, reasonably-priced. The local music and bands of the Rock and Roll series are always a treat. Phoenix is an ideal get away from winter’s cold to enjoy the beauty and mild temperatures of the desert. The course is mostly flat, the mornings cool, and the Tempe course is visually interesting with clean streets, shops, the canal, and the surrounding desert mountains. Travel to Phoenix is easy and inexpensive, frequent flights from major cities, an easy to manage light-rail system, and a choice of hotels for any budget. Post-race-restaurant variety and an unlimited choice of hiking trails to explore. Few suggestions for Rock and Roll Races-improved post race snacks and easier gear check pre-race.

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