Overall Rating
Overall Rating (23 Reviews)
4.2
(23 Ratings)(23 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.7
SCENERY
3.7
PRODUCTION
4.2
SWAG
3.5
Through the years, Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans has become one of the biggest party courses with its on-course frivolity, abundance of local musical acts and epic Finish Line Festival complete with free-flowing beer. Join us in New Orleans for our laissez les bons temps rouler! Shining a spotlight on … MORE
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Recent reviews

    usmchick FIRST-TIMER '19

    The race takes you through downtown New Orleans, along the river and up to Lake Ponchatrain. It's a relatively easy course with some great music and great crowds cheering you … MORE

    The race takes you through downtown New Orleans, along the river and up to Lake Ponchatrain. It’s a relatively easy course with some great music and great crowds cheering you on!

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    Legs333 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The Rock-n-Roll races have gotten rapped in the past for being too commercialized and not enough port-o-potties however, I believe New Orleans got everything right this year. Very organized bag … MORE

    The Rock-n-Roll races have gotten rapped in the past for being too commercialized and not enough port-o-potties however, I believe New Orleans got everything right this year. Very organized bag drops, enough facilities at the start and also on course with no waiting in lines, corrals enforced, very friendly, enthusiastic volunteers and a nice finish party. The course had a nice balance of historic neighborhood tours and also waterfront views with loud music. I actually preferred the second half of the course along Lake Pontchartrain; it felt more wide-open and relaxing along with a pleasant side breeze off the water. Having the start and finish lines miles apart is not ideal, but allowing spectators to ride on the provided buses along with the athletes for free made it logistically possible.

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 10, 2019 at 10:42pm

    Plus, it's New Orleans! 😊 Glad everything worked out well this year Lisa, I haven't experienced a RnR race day in a few years, but it does feel like this could be a great race if it's done right. Congrats on adding Louisiana to your map, and hope you'll share some of your other 50 States adventures here on RaceRaves!

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    runwalksarah FIRST-TIMER '19

    I traveled to New Orleans to mark the state of Louisiana off my list. The expo was at the New Orleans Convention Center on Friday from 12 pm – 6 … MORE

    I traveled to New Orleans to mark the state of Louisiana off my list.

    The expo was at the New Orleans Convention Center on Friday from 12 pm – 6 pm and Saturday 9 am – 5 pm. Like other Rock n Roll events, you cannot pick-up packets for other people. As I mentioned in my review of the 5K, I felt the expo was noticeably smaller than some of the other Rock ‘n’ Roll races I have run.

    The half marathon and marathon started near Lafayette Square and finished at Roosevelt Mall in City Park. The two race distances started together at 7:30 am and stayed together until just before mile 13. The first portion of the race was a long out-and-back on St Charles Ave through the Garden District. I enjoyed seeing the large beautiful homes and lush trees. We then ran through the French Quarter, although not on Bourbon Street. After the half marathon branched off, we ran next to Bayou St. John until we hit the ocean. When I reached the turnaround point near mile 18, there were no volunteers or signs. Runners knew to turn around based on the traffic cones that were setup across the road. I would expect this at a smaller race, but not at a Rock ‘n’ Roll race. Close to mile 26, there was some construction occurring on the other side of a small construction fence right next to the race and construction dust was being blown onto the race course. I found it odd that the construction couldn’t be canceled for a few hours.

    Every aid stations was stocked with water, except for the one at mile 7.2 which ran out. Every other aid station had Gatorade as a secondary option. SIS Gel was provided at mile 7.2, 14.7, and 20.1. In my opinion, this fuel is absolutely disgusting and I desperately wish they would go back to Glukos or Gu. The volunteers at the aid stations were awesome. The website said that salt would be provided at mile 8.6 and 13, but I did not see any.

    I was warned there wasn’t much course support in the second half of the marathon, but I really expected to see more of the community coming out to support the race in general. For the most part, it seems like most of New Orleans was hungover thus slept in and ignored the race. Races such as the LA Marathon and Pittsburgh draw much more community support.

    Upon finishing the race, there wasn’t much to do. Finish line refreshments included water, bananas, crackers, chips and Michelob Ultra. When my hotel roommate finished the half marathon, she told me they were handing out jambalaya to the runners. I did not see any jambalaya when I finished the marathon. My hotel roommate also told me that massages were available, however they stopped accepting sign-ups at 10:30 as the massage therapists were only scheduled to be there until noon. As far as she could tell, a lot of 10K runners were able to get massages, many half marathoners were able to get massages and no full marathoners got massages. Talk about a slap in the face from Rock ‘n’ Roll! It is also disappointing that Rock ‘n’ Roll no longer gives out jackets to full marathon finishers.

    The medal featured a crawfish with a glittery hat, umbrella and mardi gras beads (see my attached photo). I was pleased with the medal as I felt it was iconic for new Orleans.

    The free shuttle back to the starting line was efficient and hassle free.

    Overall, I enjoyed the race and happy that I picked it to mark the state of Louisiana off my list. Would I recommend it to others? Yes, with warning if they plan on doing the full. Would I run it again? No.

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    runwalksarah FIRST-TIMER '19

    My main motivation for running the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K was to receive the Remix Challenge Medal the following day. The expo was at the New Orleans Convention … MORE

    My main motivation for running the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K was to receive the Remix Challenge Medal the following day.

    The expo was at the New Orleans Convention Center on Friday from 12 pm – 6 pm. Like other Rock ‘n’ Roll events, they do not allow you to pick up bibs for other people. I expected the expo to be a bit bigger compared to other Rock ‘n’ Roll races I have run. For those unable to attend the expo, there was race morning packet pick-up available at the 5K.

    The Start/Finish area was located at Lafayette Square. The course was a loop through the French Quarter. You do not run on Bourbon Street, but you do run on Royal St and Decatur St.

    Finish line refreshments included water, bananas, crackers and Michelob Ultra beer. Way too early in the morning for me to be interested in beer! Much to the delight of the runners and spectators, a New Orleans style jazz band played near the finish line.

    The medal featured glittery trombones, music notes and mardi gras beads set against a plain metal background (see my attached photo). I felt that it was a little dull compared to other Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K medals.

    The 5K was a fun way to start my race weekend in New Orleans and definitely worth running. It gave my hotel roommate and I ideas for places we wanted to visit that day.

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    50statesSandy FIRST-TIMER '19

    Course is a lot of fun. There is race support and entertainment the entire way. Sufficient hydration along the route. I am a slower runner and even at the back … MORE

    Course is a lot of fun. There is race support and entertainment the entire way. Sufficient hydration along the route. I am a slower runner and even at the back of the pack there was tons of people along course cheering. This was my first race with my name on my bib and hearing cheers with my name was awesome!

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    mnjogger REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I've run this marathon twice before, but this was my first time running the half. In my experience with RnR races, the first half is the more energized, is the … MORE

    I’ve run this marathon twice before, but this was my first time running the half. In my experience with RnR races, the first half is the more energized, is the most scenic, and has the most spectators. On this day it was overcast and mid 50s at the start, which was perfect for running. This year there didn’t seem to be nearly as many spectators in the Garden District as in years past. There seemed to be a few more in the French Quarter this time though. There are informal beer stops that the locals have and – my favorite – the martini stop! In years past there was one around mile 15 that I was afraid I’d miss but there was one around mile 7 or 8 this time. The course is flat the first half. The corral start keeps people spaced out sufficiently. Plenty of water stops along the course and it seemed a sufficient number of porto-potties. I enjoy the bands along the course, even if I do see them twice on an out-and-back. The race ends in City Park, which I enjoy because you can spread out and soak up the sun (if it’s sunny that day). The snacks at the end were sufficient (gatorade, banana, water, chips, granola bar). Because I ran the half I was able to enjoy the band this time. When I run the full usually the band is packing up by the time I finish. Volunteers are good. Packet pickup is efficient at the Convention Center. This is a great town to enjoy! If you are looking for a shakeout run, there is a path along the waterfront in the French Quarter but it only goes ~1 to 1.25 miles one way. I usually add on to run to the end of the Convention Center: By the time I’m back at the hotel it’s a 4 mile run.

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    winner REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was my 14th half marathon so I do have others to compare to. The expo was tiny compared to others I've been to. The race was organized well enough; … MORE

    This was my 14th half marathon so I do have others to compare to. The expo was tiny compared to others I’ve been to. The race was organized well enough; I had no difficulty finding my corral and there were plenty of portajohns. However, MAJOR disappointment at the finish when we found out that the real food was ONLY for the marathoners. We got a banana, water, and a bag of chips at the finish but when we got in line for the red beans and rice we were told it was only for full marathoners. That is a first! Talk about being made to feel less than! I did go back to review the website to see if I missed that piece of information and there was NOTHING saying there would be no real food for the half marathoners. If you are going to do this then at least tell people — I would have put more snacks in my gear check bag! Being treated as “less than” was a real downer for me. This was my first Rock & Roll race and I expected more.

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    runvirginia FIRST-TIMER '19

    I agree with what many other reviewers comment on: * the race is geared toward the half marathon. * there are many out and backs to 'take advantage' of the … MORE

    I agree with what many other reviewers comment on:
    * the race is geared toward the half marathon.
    * there are many out and backs to ‘take advantage’ of the bands.
    * some of the ‘bands’ were DJs.
    * the second half is surprisingly hilly (several bridges to cross), lonely, and lacking in scenery compared to the first half
    * I personally hate the corral start of the RNR races with the countdowns on the PA every 90 seconds. I want to go! I would rather weave (which happens anyway)

    Pros:
    *New Orleans is one cool place. There is a lot of energy in the first half.
    * Run your own race–don’t get sucked in to the halfers pace, energy, etc.
    * Plenty of water, vaseline, etc. (Did not try unfamiliar ‘gel’ product.
    * lovely overcast weather in the 50s–perfect for running.

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    runvirginia Feb 12, 2019 at 2:04pm

    P.S. I also hate riding a shuttle back to the start. I would rather have the finish by the start...Or park at the finish (which was an option for $20)...

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    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '18

    The course was about as flat as I've ever seen. Well organized and lots of on-course entertainment and water. Which is good, because it was getting warm by the end. … MORE

    The course was about as flat as I’ve ever seen. Well organized and lots of on-course entertainment and water. Which is good, because it was getting warm by the end. Not as scenic as I thought it might be, but still better than most. It was nice to run down a couple main streets without traffic. It was kind of expensive, but the experience and the swag make it worthwhile.

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    billyseafish FIRST-TIMER '18

    Be prepared to walk a lot if you drive your car and use hotel parking, very little parking to be had and what there is $$ overall a great destination … MORE

    Be prepared to walk a lot if you drive your car and use hotel parking, very little parking to be had and what there is $$ overall a great destination race lots of bands, beads and cheering folks, if you run both days you’ll get more swag, but 10 k is on Sunday so you will have to run the 5k on Saturday

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    clee11 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I was super excited to run this race and it was my first time in NOLA/LA. I have previous ran with this company before and so I kind of knew … MORE

    I was super excited to run this race and it was my first time in NOLA/LA. I have previous ran with this company before and so I kind of knew what I was getting myself into. My friends and I got a great deal on registration so we went for it. The expo closed early on Friday so we had to go on Saturday. Luckily we scored a nice airbnb so we were able to walk to the expo.

    The expo was small (as I kind of knew it was going to be like that), but they did have some awesome merchandise for the race. The issue was the 13.1 shirts that had everyone’s names on it ran two sizes too small so I didn’t get one. The expo had a variety of vendors from other races, to selling merchandise and to sampling. I would have liked to see more vendors selling stuff. Coming from another race the week prior this expo wasn’t so good.

    Race day! Directions to the start line was easy the issue was that the corrals weren’t maintained so people with different numbers were going where ever they want. I did enjoy the wave start and getting pumped up before the race. The course was not the greatest as the first 8 miles were an out and back then the last three miles was a straight away. It was good not to have a lot of turns but would have liked to see more of the city. The roads were terrible so it was hard to run on as there were loose gravel and slanted streets. In addition there wasn’t enjoy toilets on the route, maybe one or two every medical stop and the water stops were struggling to assist runners with water. The first GU stop didn’t have anything…that was bad. Luckily I had my own.

    Finish line was great, there were a lot of supporters and photographer. The concert after was great and saw a lot of runners hanging out.

    Overall I wouldn’t do this again rather another race. I don’t like how small the medal was and the color of the shirt. That is my opinion and I would not be offended if you disagree. If you are local and got a good deal then do it but if you are paying anything over $70 don’t do it.

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    rbfrmrville FIRST-TIMER '18

    I did this race because I wanted to a flat and fast course. The first 13 miles were great and had somewhat great fans. The last 13 there were hardly … MORE

    I did this race because I wanted to a flat and fast course. The first 13 miles were great and had somewhat great fans. The last 13 there were hardly any fans but it took you to Lake Ponchatrain. I did set a PR and also broke the 5 hour marathon.

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    rbfrmrville FIRST-TIMER '18

    I participated in the 5k and marathon for Rock and Roll. The 5k is REALLY flat. I set a new PR breaking my old PR by almost 2 minutes. Not … MORE

    I participated in the 5k and marathon for Rock and Roll. The 5k is REALLY flat. I set a new PR breaking my old PR by almost 2 minutes. Not a whole lot of fans on the 5k route but it was still a great race. The EXPO for the Rock and Roll New Orleans was pretty lousy.

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    maryannkeller88 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Love New Orleans. Beautiful flat course wirh great volunteers. Great party at City Park and plenty of shuttles. Expo a little Disappointing. MORE

    Love New Orleans. Beautiful flat course wirh great volunteers. Great party at City Park and plenty of shuttles. Expo a little
    Disappointing.

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    TeeBabi FIRST-TIMER '16

    If you want a great first marathon experience, run RNR NEW ORLEANS!! The crowd support and runners are amazing! Never say you can’t run a marathon! I winged this, no … MORE

    If you want a great first marathon experience, run RNR NEW ORLEANS!! The crowd support and runners are amazing! Never say you can’t run a marathon! I winged this, no training and split my head open on the hotel nightstand the morning of…AND STILL RAN! LOL!

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    hotanez16 Jan 15, 2019 at 8:17pm

    Wow that is amazing congratulations!!

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    dsbland FIRST-TIMER '17

    The Rock and Roll race series definitely knows how to put on an event and the New Orleans Marathon was no exception. The Expo was well done with plenty of … MORE

    The Rock and Roll race series definitely knows how to put on an event and the New Orleans Marathon was no exception. The Expo was well done with plenty of interesting and knowledgeable vendors to spend time with and pick their brains. The corral setup was smooth and actually ran quickly and efficiently, much better than I have experienced in the past with Rock and Roll events. The course was staggeringly flat, almost to the point where the lack of topography was worse than having a few hills for variety. The first half of the race was quite interesting, through some historic neighborhoods and the French quarter. The half and full didn’t split until after mile 12 so there was plenty of weaving in and out of crowds during the first half of the race. After the split, there was a massive decrease in the number of runners around me. It seemed that this race had an even larger proportion of half marathoners than any race I’ve done in the past. This wasn’t a big deal to me, but someone who isn’t comfortable running by themselves might find this disconcerting to come so far into the run. The biggest draw back to this race was the lack of spectators. While I don’t need big crowds for motivation, it was oddly quiet for the vast majority of the run. I assume this was as a result of being New Orleans and early on a Sunday morning so shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. The back half of the marathon was not as interesting, a couple of out and backs through a park and along a lake front. It was nice, but without much spectator support it wasn’t much different than a typical weekend long run. But, with the flat course and great weather, it was definite PR type conditions and I was able to set a PR by about 10 minutes so no complaints for me.

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    jmprovaz01 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The first half of the course was well supported. The last half didn't even have a band. Very hard to keep motived to go the last half. No food besides … MORE

    The first half of the course was well supported. The last half didn’t even have a band. Very hard to keep motived to go the last half. No food besides the gu they provide.

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    cdmauger FIRST-TIMER '16

    Opinions always seem to vary when it comes to the Rock 'n' Roll Series, but I am a huge fan. Some are better than others, of course, but I've never … MORE

    Opinions always seem to vary when it comes to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series, but I am a huge fan. Some are better than others, of course, but I’ve never been disappointed with any of them. And so far, Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans is the best I’ve participated in. We traveled from Southern California for a four-day race weekend, and enjoyed the Big Easy on a number of levels. The race expo was par for the RnR course, meaning there were a ton of vendors and an overall fun experience. We stayed at a hotel near the start line, so getting to the race was only a matter of a three-block walk. The course itself is pancake flat, and starts with an out and back in a mostly residential area with a ton of crowd support — including folks handing out Mardi Gras beads to the runners. A very nice touch. Runners then tour the French Quarter for a couple miles, and finally end up in a nice, shady park. The medal and shirt were up to the RnR standards, with beads replacing the traditional ribbon. One area where I think RnR could step it up is in the design of the race shirts. Quality is good, but the artwork tends to be so-so. After the race, we were shuttled back to the starting area without any problem.

    Bottom line, this is a fantastic event in a great city. You won’t be disappointed.

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    JoJoRunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    I like the RnR series because of there really smooth organisation. The day before RnRNola I was running in GA and my flight arrived after the expo houres. From other … MORE

    I like the RnR series because of there really smooth organisation.
    The day before RnRNola I was running in GA and my flight arrived after the expo houres. From other runners I knew that RnR offers (but doesnt advertise) same day race bib pick up at the start line. So I went there an hour before the start and had my bib within 3 minutes (thats what I call smooth!). I planned on running the race easy with many miles in my legs from the days before. The energy along the course was nice- numerous spectators with motivational signs and smaller groups giving out food and drinks and adding up to the already very sufficient in numbers drink stations. February in Nola is mild and I really enjoyed running through the french quarter and do my bit of running sight seeing. What did bother me was the asphalt of the streets of the like first 8 miles. The streets were in really bad conditions with holes and gaps and cracks and one has to be careful not to sprain an ancle- I got better from midtown to the Park where the race finished. There (as always) RnR set up a nice entertainment area with concert, sponsors/ vendors, food trucks.
    Not sure if I d run it again but it was definitely an overall satisfying race experience.

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    Joerobe FIRST-TIMER '17

    I want to say right at the beginning of this review that I ran a really tough marathon the day before this one, so my time definitely doesn't reflect the … MORE

    I want to say right at the beginning of this review that I ran a really tough marathon the day before this one, so my time definitely doesn’t reflect the nature of the course.

    The Rock and Roll series has been good to me, I’ve run two races with them, and both times I’ve had to pick up my packet race morning at the solutions tent as I was driving in from other marathons. They don’t advertise this service, but seem to give a lot of grace to runners who are running a marathon the day before.

    To let you know how I started this race: worked all day Thursday then drove 13 hours to Surfside Beach, TX on Thursday night/Friday morning, camped on the beach Friday night, up at 4:30AM and started that marathon at 5:30 Saturday, after it was over, visited some friends in Louisiana and arrived at the hotel in New Orleans at about 11PM, up at 4AM Sunday to get to the parking garage and packet pick up by 5:30 (kind of a pain, but something I’ve come to expect in city races)…I say all that only to say this…I was really tired before I started this race.

    There were somewhere around 20,000 people running this race, and it went off without a hitch. I was in corral 10 (the 4:30 estimated finish) and it took me roughly 10 minutes to get to the starting line; not bad for so many people.

    One of the most important aspects of this course, there is so much to look at. Even though I was tired, I ran for 5 miles before I even felt the first thought of being worn out; the scenery is beautiful, the atmosphere is unique, and it takes your mind off of the normal things you think about at the start of the run.

    I normally don’t run with a phone, but this time since I would return to the start by shuttle, I needed to have it with me. I was glad I did, I had started the race in a long sleeve tech shirt, but by mile 7 the sun had come out and it was pretty warm, so I was able to call my wife and girls who were eating beignets at Cafe du Monde, (about mile 9.5) and hand off some of my gear.

    This course took us right through the French Quarter, the aid stations were plentiful and well stocked with great volunteers, the bands along the way were good, and the people who were running beside me were generally very happy to converse.

    One thing I did notice about this race, it seemed like there were a lot more people who were just there running for pleasure than trying to conquer a goal; generally I find when I am in the 5 hour crowd there is a lot of justification for why everyone isn’t doing better, but not here, it just seemed like more people were content to run for the sake of running and not for setting a PR-that was nice.

    I ran out of steam at about mile 20ish which coincided with the only real hill on the course, which I was happy to walk for a couple of miles, and then ran it in under the nice shady oaks in the park…beautiful.

    The finish line had plenty of drinks and snacks, the line to get shirts and jackets was really quick, and then off to catch a shuttle back to the start line.

    I didn’t love the shuttle part, but there was zero parking near the finish, so I was happy that the service was offered free to runners and friends/family. It took me about 10 minutes to walk to the shuttles, and about 15 minutes in line to catch one, about a 20 minute ride to the start line, and then about a mile walk from the start line to the parking garage.

    Even though my time was pretty slow, in my opinion this course is fast, flat, and beautiful. I never fully push myself, because as in this race, I know that when I’m done it’s in the car for an 11 hour ride home, and back to the office by 6:30 Monday morning. Even with that being said, I finished a little faster than I thought I might after the challenging run on Saturday and I managed to put a check mark by Louisiana.

    Like most RNR marathons, the swag was good, and the runner tracking/timing is nice for friends and family to be able to follow along.

    I can definitely recommend this as a good Louisiana race.

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  1. Races
  2. Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & 1/2 Marathon