The term, “Jump the shark,” comes from the television entertainment industry. In the television series, Happy Days, Fonzie drove his motorcycle and jumped a shark. It was a big event and was meant (I’m sure) to develop more interest in a waning series. A lot of people feel it actually spelled the end of the series. Out of that developed the term, “jumping the shark.”

I need to explain that the Rock and Roll running events include half and full marathons. These events need sponsors to help cover the costs. These sponsorships are two way streets. I look at it as a two way street, or a lot like advertising. The sponsor invests money, volunteers, or product and get to put their names in front of the competitors.

Rock and Roll ( has jumped the shark as far as this running athlete is concerned. When a running athlete crosses the finish line of the event, they receive a finisher’s medal.

 Chicago 2013 RnR medal

(Credit for the picture goes to Stephen R. from

The picture shows a finisher’s medal for the Rock and Roll Chicago 2013 half-marathon event. What is different? There are 2 sponsors on the medal.

In my humble opinion, there is no place on a finisher’s medal for the sponsors. The sponsors contribute to the overall operation of the event, but so do the finishing athletes. For an athlete to run the event, they pay to register. It is the time and devotion to training for the event that allows the athlete to complete it. In price alone, the registering fees more than pay for the medal. Had I run this event, I would have given the medal back.

I have written my disappointment to both listed sponsors.

I am pretty sure that Rock and Roll are actively researching how to charge spectators to cheer the competitors on.  Pretty sad.

My humble opinion is that we should boycott all Rock and Roll events.