I’ll say this up front. If you love the Rock n Roll race series and think they can do no wrong, don’t even bother reading this because you’re not going to like it.

I was going to wait until after the race tomorrow and wrap it all up in one fell swoop, but decided not to wait.

So far, the Rock n Roll New York 10K is nothing short of a disaster, and we’ve only had packet pick-up.

Let’s start with the location. There are a lot of running stores in New York. And other than Urban Athletics, which has very small stores, most of them are big enough to handle a packet pick-up. For a race this large, I probably would have gone with Paragon, or maybe one of the Jack Rabbit stores (ok, not the Upper East Side one because it’s small). Or better yet, rented a hotel conference room. Or had it in Prospect Park today and tomorrow. Instead, they chose to have it at Super Runners in Times Square. Which is about as tiny as the Urban Athletics stores.

For a race where they’re saying there are 6000 people registered.


Then to bibs. Because it was in such a tiny store (I don’t even know how the store could be doing any business today it’s so packed), the bins were thisclose together, so you couldn’t really even get into lines behind them, it was just kind of a cluster and you had to push up to get to your “assigned” bin. I get that the people doing it are volunteers, but at least give them some instruction and make sure that they can read numbers and count. The girl “in charge” of my bin couldn’t tell the difference between 9119 and 9109. Finally she found it (after I repeated the number to her several times). The girl next to her presented me with a sticker to change my corral – it’s not even the official thing like I’ve gotten in other races. It’s just those colored circles from Staples that they’re writing on. If I had lime green ones here, I could change it to whatever I wanted and no one would know.

Then, because of a “shipping error” they were down to only men’s large shirts. We were told we could exchange them tomorrow. At the finish area. When they’ve already taken the tabs off the bibs so how can we prove what size (and gender) we ordered? Yes, NYRR had shirt issues earlier, but they didn’t say “here take this one and then exchange it”, they had us hold onto our shirt tags and get the shirt later.

Oh, back to packet pick-up. I got no “packet”. I saw others getting a large white envelope with their bibs, but my person said “Oh no, you don’t need that.” And no one else would listen to me. So I didn’t get it. Hopefully there was nothing I needed in that. Maybe I can ask someone tomorrow assuming I find anyone willing to take a moment to answer me. If it’s just the finish line party admission stuff I don’t care. Never heard of the finish line band and frankly don’t see the appeal of standing around in a crowd for some group I’ve never heard of. (And based on the festivals they’re listed as having played, I’m going to guess it’s not my style of music anyway.)

And just to add to things, I don’t know where they’re getting their subway information, but it’s not the MTA directly as they are now claiming “conflicting” information from where they posted that trains that aren’t running in Brooklyn tomorrow were the best way to get to the race. It’s not like the weekend construction is a state secret – it’s right there on the website. AND the subway stations.

It’s just a shitshow so far, and honestly, unless tomorrow is more amazing than the WDW Half (note I’m not saying Disneyland, which had its problems and I probably won’t run again because of those; and I’m not saying Wine and Dine because there were still issues there…but Marathon Weekend was completely organized and together), the Rock’n’Roll/competitor organization will not get one more dime of my money.

Honestly if I hadn’t paid as much as I did for this race, I’d skip it. But I’m not going to give them the money without getting something for it.

Hey…maybe it’ll be like the fulls and halves where you can get on the bus, get dropped off just before the finish line, trot across it, and still get your medal.

So many shades of not impressed it’s not funny.


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