Rock n' Roll Arizona returns to Phoenix, Tempe after 2-year hiatus

After a two-year break, the Rock n' Roll Running Series is back in Arizona this weekend.

People traveled across the country to Phoenix to participate in the 5K marathon on Saturday, and the crowds were certainly ready to hit the pavement once again.

"This is actually my first one back in two years because of COVID and all that," said Phoenix resident Shawn Cannon.

"I come here every January just for this," said Texas resident Drew Pelletier.

Saturday's 5K was a way to ease into Sunday's 10K - a half and then full marathon for tens of thousands of runners.

Meanwhile, you’ll hear Ann Wessling announcing it all behind the mic.

"So I just get to run my mouth all day," Wessling said. "Everybody else runs and I just get to cheer everybody on. My dad calls me a glorified cheerleader and I couldn’t put it better myself."

It's a race for runners and characters alike.

Drew Pelletier runs in kilts for a friend from Scotland.

"Everybody has their thing," Pelletier said. "You’ll see people dressed up in tutus. I have a good friend who runs in a pineapple hat."

That’s just the start of it. The unofficial mascot of the international races? That’s a jailhouse rocker without shoes.

"I missed the people, the crowd reaction," said Barefoot Elvis. "The, ‘Oh yeah, I saw you in Madrid or whatever city,’ people are used to seeing Elvis."

The runners and spectators are back, because you can't stop the music.

"Even though things are a little different and there’s still a lot of safety concerns still wearing masks, still feels good to get a semblance of normalcy," said Pelletier said. "Being able to come here, friends, family, do these races… phenomenal."

Rock N Roll Marathon:

Road closures:

RNR marathon map 2022

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