2018 Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and 1/2 Marathon

Runners, Walkers, Music, and Entertainment

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
Bruce Wodder/Competitor Group, used with permission

The Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon starts in Phoenix, continues through Scottsdale, and finishes in Tempe, Arizona. There's also a 5K, 10K and a kids' race. You'll find live music every mile, and hopefully Phoenix will have its perfect winter weather in place for the day of the P.F. Chang's® Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. Really a three-day event, there's a Health & Fitness Expo for the two days prior to the actual races.

What is the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon?

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is more than a running event. It's a musical running event with bands, entertainment, an expo and more. It is also the largest combined running event in the United States, and a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

When is it?

Race: Kids Rock
Race Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018
Start Time: 10 a.m. for first wave

Race: 5K
Race Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018
Start Time: 8 a.m.

Race: 10K
Race Date: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Start Time: 7:50 a.m.

Race: Half Marathon
Race Date: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Start Time: 7:50 a.m.

Race: Marathon
Race Date: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Start Time: 7:50 a.m.

Where does it take place?

The starts and finish lines accommodate the ever-growing large crowds that participate and watch the event. The Half Marathon starts at University Dr. at College Ave. The finish line is the same for both races: Ash and Rio Salado Parkway at Tempe Beach Park. The marathon runners will start in Downtown Phoenix at Arizona Center. Here is a map of the race course.

The starts for both races are close to a Valley Metro Light Rail Station. Marathon runners will use the 3rd Street and Washington/Jefferson Stations and runners in the Half Marathon in Tempe can use the Rural Road & University Drive Station. At the finish line, you can get on Light Rail at the Mill Avenue & Third Street Station.

The Arizona Department of Transportation usually provides detailed motorist information, including any travel or road restrictions, for the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon. Call 5-1-1, then *7. The call is free.

Valley Metro light rail line will offer enhanced service to serve the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. To help connect participants to start lines in downtown Phoenix and Tempe, trains will run every 10 minutes between 5 a.m. through the race start time at approximately 7:30 a.m. As you can imagine, there will be significant re-routing of public transportation for these events, including several light rail stations closing for a period of time in the morning. You can read about bus and rail changes here. For general street closures and driving restrictions affected by the races, check Tempe's website.

Are there fees/admission charges?

If you are running in one of the events, you can register online. There are fees for entering all the events. Pick up your Race Number, Timing Chip, T-shirt and goodie bag at the Health & Fitness Expo located at the Phoenix Convention Center, South Building. Runners must show photo ID to pick up their race number and timing chip. After online registration closes, you can register at the Health & Fitness Expo if space is available (at a higher price). There is no race day registration.

Are there any discounts on registration fees?

Active-duty, reserve, veteran, or retired military, first responders and related government employees may qualify for special discounts. Check GovX.com online for eligible distances.

There is no charge to be a spectator at the race or for attending the Health & Fitness Expo.

Need a Hotel?

Here are some recommended hotels near the start and finish lines.

Ten Tips For Marathon Spectators

You may not be a runner, or a member of a band, or even on the cheer squad of a local high school, but there will be plenty of other people just like you who want to watch the runners participate in the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. Here are some tips for enjoying the event.

  1. Before the marathon ever begins, you'll want to pick up the official Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Spectator Guide at the Health & Fitness Expo for all the best spectator information. The Health & Fitness Expo is free and open to the public.
  2. Be a creative spectator. Signs, noisemakers and costumes always add to the entertainment for runners and walkers along the course.
  3. Plan to find one or two points along the course to cheer for your favorite runner or walker so that you can make it to the finish line in time.
  4. Some of the best viewing spots are where the bands are located.
  5. Plan ahead and know where the road closures are.
  6. Bring sunscreen, a hat, water, and a camera, and wear comfortable walking shoes. As a spectator, you might have to park farther away than the volunteers and the runners.
  7. Arrive at the finish line early to get a spot at the best viewing areas.
  8. Dress in layers. The average temperature in mid-January in the Phoenix area is about 45°F at the start and about 65°F at the finish. It will be cold in the morning!
  9. You won't be alone. This is a major sporting event and traffic will be a nightmare. Leave plenty of time, and be patient.

What else should I know?

The Kids Rock event is for kids from crawling age through 12 years old. There are various distances, depending on age group. Kids ages 7 - 12 run one mile.

The Health & Fitness Expo is located at the Phoenix Convention Center (South Halls) and will be open to the public on Friday, January 12, 2018 from noon to 7 p.m., and Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exhibitors will feature free samples, running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information, and more. Admission to the Health & Fitness Expo is free, but parking is not provided. Be aware that parking meters are not free in Phoenix, even on weekends.

There are many spots from which you can watch the race on January 14 and cheer for your favorite runners. You can find course maps here. Remember that it will most likely be cold early in the day, and then will warm up.

There will be bands and high school cheer squads all along the course for the day of the marathon, and there will be a free concert at the Finish Line Festival. The headliner in 2018 is (TBA).

What if I have more questions?

For more information, visit Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon online.

All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

Was this page helpful?