NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After a two and a half year hiatus due to the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Rock and Roll Running Series benefiting St. Jude's Hospital returns to Music City with a new name, look and running course Thursday through Saturday.
"I think the silver lining with COVID it kind of made everyone rethink how everything worked right and I think made our team take a step back and say 'hey, what can we change? What can we do better?'" explained Rock and Roll Running Series Nashville Race Director Erika Larsen.
The marathon course for the November 20 race removes MetroCenter and adds two four-mile loops in Shelby Bottoms and on the Greenway.
"The marathon runners are going to be doing two loops around the lake and then a loop on the Greenway and I think it's going to be a really positive change," said Larsen. "I was over there the other day and the foliage is unbelievable, so I'm hoping to it for it to be a welcome change."
The Rock and Roll Running Series, formally known as the Rock and Roll Marathon, changed its name in an effort to be more inclusive to all runners.
Larsen said, "At 6:30 a.m. our race start for the 5K and 6.15 mile will be on Eighth and Demonbreun and then at 7:20 the start line for the marathon and half marathon will be at 8th and Broadway so we have four races going on on Saturday."
The series will also feature a kids' one-mile run Thursday night at 5:30 outside Nissan Stadium as well as an one-mile adult run at 7:30.
For runners who have questions about their registration link, series organizers encourage asking a staff member at the "solutions" table at the Expo Thursday or Friday to ensure smooth procedures on Saturday.
"We did offer a handful of options each time [the race was rescheduled] so people could either choose to stay in this Nashville race or move to to the other ones, but we have sent out of all the registration links to those who elected to still race in Nashville," explained Larsen. "So, everyone should have received that link, completed their registration, but we do have staff on site here to assist with those people who may have gotten lost in that shuffle or still have outstanding questions there."
The expos for packet pick-up for every runner are at Nissan Stadium Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. or Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Last-minute sign-ups will be accepted until the end of the expo on Friday.
"It’s Music City, so we really take pride in that with our band stages, our post race entertainment will have 20 bands stages along the courses on Saturday," said Larsen. "I just hope that everyone feels the excitement in the southern hospitality that Nashville is bringing. You know, from from our staff, to the volunteers to local businesses, everyone really looks forward to this event. So I just really hope that everyone can feel that excitement."