2016 – The Year that Rocked

This year at the Rock n Roll San Antonio expo, we got the official Heavy Medal totals for 2016. All told, 162 people finished 15 or more events and will be on the Hall of Fame banner for 2017. This is nearly twice as many people than 2015 and nearly 7 times as many as the inaugural 2014 season.

Top honors and the Rock Superstar plaques were awarded to five runners who finished the maximum of 25 locations that were logistically possible without chartering a private jet. With the new Remix races, it was actually possible to do 40 races in the Rock n Roll Series in 2016. Here they are, listed by first name since every one of them had a top-notch year.

Amy Heveran: 4 Full, 21 Half, 12 5K, 2 10K. She not only had an amazing year personally, but also has her family hooked on racing too. Her mother, Jamie, ran her first 5K in St. Louis 2015 and this year made the Hall of Fame. Amy also has the longest current consecutive RNR event streak at 30, sitting at 55 RNR races lifetime.

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Greg Heilers: 13 Full 12 Half, 13 5K, 2 10K. After posting the second most Rock n Roll miles in a year in 2015 (414), Greg set the all time single season mileage record in the Remix Era with 550.5 miles. He is on track to hit 100 Rock n Roll’s in mid 2017, targeting RNR Chicago, and has 28 consecutive RNR events and 88 lifetime.

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John Moyer: 3 Full, 22 Half, 12 5K, 2 10K. John  finished at or near the top of his age group for a lot of events this year. This goes to show how this sport can keep you young.

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Sherry Ricker: 13 Full*, 12 Half, 13 5K 2 10K. Sherry is the only person to attempt the longest distance at every event she attended. The only blemish in the total mileage was a diversion at the RNR Las Vegas full. It was her 100th Rock n Roll and she wasn’t even aware of that cut off that trimmed a little less than a mile off the distance. Sherry has finished the last 29 consecutive Rock n Roll Events and has 101 half and full marathons lifetime (4th on the all time list). Her 132 total races including Remixes are second only to Joe Harris.

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Will Flynn: 1 Full, 24 Half, 11 5K. Will started the year with a goal of 10 races, maybe Hall of Fame, but ended up running the table. His set multiple half marathon PR’s on the way to ending the year with his first ever full marathon. His streak of 26 consecutive Rock n Roll Races started and ended in San Antonio and includes all of his lifetime races.

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The top 5 are nothing short of amazing in their commitment and durability. But along with those over-achievers, an additional 19000 people were awarded Heavy Medals in 2016. These were the numbers announced by Competitor Group at the Expo and differ slightly from the unofficial Pannell Report, I’m guessing because a lot of people didn’t register for the Heavy Medal program. I’ll add John’s numbers when we get the graph finished.

9920  Double Beats
4431 Rock Trios
1755 Groupie (4)
958 Roadie (5)
646 Six-String
483 Stairway to Seven
411 Eight Track
347 Headliner (9)
295 Gold Record (10)
162 Hall of Fame (15)

This was the third year of the Hall of Fame level for the Heavy Medal series. In 2014, the late announcement of the Hall of Fame and the exclusion of the European races from the total left a few folks a race or two short of 15. As of 2016, only the seven people below have reached the ‘official’ 15-race mark in all three years. There may be a few asterisks for 2014 so I’ll need to chase that down. (Left to right: Susan, Rodney, Mitch, Joe, Ron, Jessica, Justin).

There were people along the way that made the journey worthwhile. Two in particular were Ryan and Mindy, the constant presence at the Rock n Roll booth and the post-race Heavy Medal tent. Amy organized an effort to present them with gifts and also give Ryan a photo album to commemorate his first half marathon at Rock n Roll Savannah.

I was a little worried when CGI put the presentation in the Geico booth, mainly because of how many people we projected to in the Hall of Fame picture. Somehow though, we made it work. (photo credits – Hyalker and Adrian from the Black Sheep Run uploads).

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We go into the 2017 Rock n Roll calendar starting with RNR Arizona this weekend and could have as many as 6 more people hitting the 100 race mark before the year is out. I’ll be curious to see how many people choose to take another shot at the Hall of Fame again, but we’ve set a pretty high bar in 2016.

2016 rocked.

Keep it rolling into 2017.

Happy New Year!

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