One Million And Counting

Photo: Courtesy Karl Truman

Photo: Courtesy Karl Truman

Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon participant Karl Truman is recognized as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series’ one-millionth customer.

Written by: Matt Fitzgerald

Last week Karl Truman received an unexpected phone call from Competitor Group public relations director Dan Cruz. As Truman recalls it, “He told me, ‘I’m sorry I’m not from Publishers Clearinghouse, but I am happy to tell you that you’re the one-millionth customer of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.”

Truman had earned this distinction by registering for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon on November 11, 2009. Cruz informed Truman that his prize was the opportunity to wake up extra early on race morning to allow time for a local television interview from the starting line.

Truman was not disappointed. “I don’t run for any awards except the pride and satisfaction of finishing,” says the 48-year-old attorney, who lives in southern Indiana.

The organizers of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series are understandably proud of accumulating one million participants in 13 years.

“While we all had what we were thought were grand visions back in 1998, when San Diego’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon became the largest inaugural running event in world history with 19,979 entries, none of us could have even imagined that just 13 years later the one-millionth person would enter one of our now 14 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons and Half Marathons,” says Competitor Group vice president Tracy Sundlun.

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Sunday’s race will be Truman’s sixth marathon. “It was the Army that got me started in running,” says the retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel. “My first marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in 2007. Since then I’ve been trying to do two or three marathons a year. That’s enough so I’m always training for the next one without overdoing it.”

Truman has run one Rock ‘n’ Roll event previously: the 2008 Country Music Half Marathon. “It was awesome,” he says. “I loved all the bands on the course. Part of why I run marathons is the excitement and the energy. I’m really looking forward to the experience in New Orleans.”

Truman says his goal is to break five hours. “I’m not a fast runner,” he confesses. “That’s not what I’m in it for. I run to keep in shape, feel good about myself and just to be involved in the excitement of the events.”

With just hours to go before Truman is able to consummate his status as the one-millionth Rock ‘n’ Roller, Tracy Sundlun offers these words of thanks: “Congratulations and welcome to the Family, Karl!  All of us at the Competitor Group are both grateful for and honored by the running community’s support of our events, and I promise that we will continue to spend every waking hour working to justify your confidence in us.”

It’s not a check for $10 million, but it’s something!


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