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Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh: Why Some Run, Why Some Won't

Beth Neel, at finish line of Richmond Half Marathon
Beth Neel

The Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh marathon will be held this Sunday. It's a huge event with lots of music, as the name implies. Recently we asked Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh marathon runners two simple questions: "Who Are You?" and "Why Do You Run?"

The very first response we received was from someone telling us why they are NOT running.

Elizabeth Neel wrote to say: "I am not running. I choose to support local charity races like City of Oaks, RunRaleigh and Tobacco Road. I know the city wants to bring in $$$ and support and bolster tourism, but I feel it's obscene the money and concessions they've given to Rock n Roll but do not give to local races."

Elizabeth plans instead to run the Rock'N Rebellion Race which will be on Saturday. (That fun run will be on the Neuse River Greenway.)

But Elizabeth was in the minority. We heard from a lot of WUNC listeners who do plan to run the Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh Marathon, people like Bob Dyer. Bob is a retired government scientist. He'll turn 70 in May. "I decided if I'm ever going to complete a marathon, I'd better do it soon, before my joints and will power conk out." But, says Bob, he needed to work on more than his muscles.  "I just needed to let go of my competitive instinct. Running with friends, instead of trying to beat them, turns out to be fun."

Katie Sweet (center) and her family.
Credit Katie Sweet
Katie Sweet (center) and her family including step mom Jean Anderson.

Katie Sweet is running in honor of her stepmom who is fighting lung cancer.

Katie will be running for Team V - the official charity of Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh. (Katie also works at the charity part-time.)

She says "My stepmom has defied odds and responded to the second therapy they tried. I feel honored to raise money for her and others fighting cancer. I have a pretty awesome job!"

Dottie Adams, with her medal and a post-race beverage at Brazen Head Pub in Dublin.
Dottie Adams, with her medal and a post-race beverage at Brazen Head Pub in Dublin. (Rock N' Roll Dublin Half Marathon)

There will be at least one couple on the course who is running for love.

Bob Demidowicz and Dottie Adams have been together for five years, but they live in different states. Bob lives in Cary, NC. Dottie lives in Massachusetts. But it's running that brings them together. Both did their first half marathons in 2012 and they were hooked. They plan to run 13 half marathons in 2013, and their 2014 goal is to run a half marathon in every state.

"We use these races to visit each other and enjoy cities we love or visit new cities. Our highlight was the Dublin Ireland Rock N' Roll this past August - what a great country & beer," writes Bob.

Mark Czechowski
Credit Mark Czechowski
Mark Czechowski

Mark Czechowski will run on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project.

"I am a father, husband, and an Army Veteran," writes Czechowski. "I joined the Army Reserves when I was a junior in high school."

Mark Czechowski served in active duty in the Army, where he was a unit supply specialist. 

"I completed my obligation in 2007 at the rank of E-6, Staff Sergeant.  I have some disabilities from my service and I am a supporter/member of the Wounded Warrior Project.  The WWP sponsors many great events and I saw the Rock and Roll Marathon and thought it was time to give it a try."

Cherie Armour running a marathon
Credit Cherie Armour
Cherie Armour running a marathon

Cheri Armour is running for the city itself.

She writes, "I am running the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon because for me, it legitimizes Raleigh as a growing city. You've got to understand, for the longest time, all Raleigh had were these small races, and the expos would be small, and so rinky-dink compared to races in DC, New York, or LA. Now, we're getting a huge race, and I view this as an opportunity to get our city on the map."


Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
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