Competitor Group Acquires Chicago Distance Classic, release, note by Larry Eder


The Chicago Distance Classic was one of the first races of the running boom. It is appropriate now, that it has become part of the Elite Racing series, who now have eight musical marathons and half marathons.

Elite Racing has also morphed, in that it is now part of the Competitor Group, a media company owned by Falconhead Capital. Elite has lead the way in developing destination events.

While many in the industry are concerned about how travel will be affected for races in the future, I look at it from a different place--I believe that running will continue to grow, with races, running stores and others benefitting. Running is one of the few things we can control in our lives.

Cases in point are the RnR San Antonio, in its first year in November 2008, will have 30,000 runners! I just spoke to the race directors for Tokyo Marathon, who have 260,000 applicants and will take 35,000 runners!

Best wishes to the RockNRoll Chicago half marathon team, and mark your calendars for Sunday, August 9, 2009.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Chicago Style

Annual Distance Classic Becomes Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Chicago, Ill. – October 10, 2008 – The Competitor Group, organizers of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, today announced the acquisition of the Chicago Distance Classic. With this acquisition, the Distance Classic becomes the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, now set for Sunday, August 9, 2009.

“Adding Chicago to the Competitor Group’s family shows our dedication to growing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series,” said Scott Dickey, Chief Operating Officer of the Competitor Group. “With its rich musical history and passionate sports enthusiasts, Chicago is an ideal location to host a Rock ‘n’ Roll running event.”

Acquired from John Bingham Racing, the event will feature live bands along every mile of the scenic half marathon course. Online registration officially opened today at, featuring a discounted entry fee when you register with coupon code WWTRN.

“I couldn't be more pleased working with the Competitor Group to bring the Rock ‘n’ Roll series to Chicago,” said John "The Penguin" Bingham, a founder of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach and noted Runner’s World columnist. “Over the years I've seen how the Rock ‘n’ Roll brand has grown. I have no doubt that they will find the true potential of the Distance Classic and give it the professional touch and local flair they’ve been know to uphold at all of their events.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago is now part of a national series of eight musically themed marathons and half marathons. The series, which originated in San Diego, now includes events in Seattle, San Antonio, Phoenix, Virginia Beach, San Jose and Nashville. The phenomenal number of participants and musical influence combine to make each Rock ‘n’ Roll event a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family.

Keeping with the rock ‘n’ roll theme, Chicago runners will be treated to a post-race concert after the event. All participants and volunteers receive free entry to the concert with their race number. Past acts at other Rock ‘n’ Roll series events include SEAL, INXS, Journey, Chris Isaak, Goo Goo Dolls and Hootie & the Blowfish.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll series revolutionized the industry when it combined entertainment with running. Live bands playing music at every mile along the course are interspersed with high school cheerleading squads providing motivation to the finish line. With charity partners raising over $200 million at the events to date, the Rock ‘n’ Roll series has become one the most successful charity fundraising events in the world. For more information on Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago or to register online, please visit

About The Competitor Group
Competitor Group, Inc. (CGI), headquartered in San Diego, CA, is the leading media and event entertainment company dedicated to the endurance sports industry of running, cycling and triathlons. CGI is comprised of the following brands: Elite Racing, Triathlete Magazine, Competitor Publishing, Velo News and Inside Triathlon. CGI owns and operates 18 national events with more than 250,000 professional and amateur participants. CGI publishes four magazine titles with a combined monthly circulation of approximately 650,000. Further information about Competitor and its media properties can be found at

About Elite Racing
Elite Racing is a division of The Competitor Group, the leader in endurance sports media, marketing and event management. Its signature Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series began in 1998 with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego. In addition to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago event, the company manages a total of eight marathons and half marathons including the original Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, the Country Music Marathon and ½ Marathon in Nashville, Tenn., the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & ½ Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & ½ Marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons in Virginia Beach and San Jose, Calif., as well as the ING Philadelphia Distance Run. Each event features live music and cheerleaders along the course. Each event attracts between 13,000 and 35,000 participants.

In addition, Elite Racing also produces the Carlsbad 5000. Known as the “world’s fastest 5k,” the Carlsbad 5000 is home to 16 world best times at the 3.1-mile distance and welcomes over 10,000 runners and walkers to the streets of Carlsbad, Calif. annually. For more information about Elite Racing’s events visit

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