Before I dive right into the recap, please take a moment to think about the two men that lost their lives at RnR Raleigh. That is really scary, and my heart goes out to their families.
Let’s recap the race.
So I told you a little bit about the expo on Friday, and that continued throughout Saturday. This time, I worked the Brooks tent, which was absolute madness between the shoe fittings and the folks scrambling for novelty items and last minute items they’d forgotten for the race.
Check out our fitting rooms. I kept expecting them to smell like an actual port-a-john, but they were clean, promise.
Saturday night, I cleaned, and straightened up, and tried to go to bed early, but it was a bust, so I watched 21 Jump Street until I could cobble together 3 or 4 hours of sleep. I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning (around 4am), showered, and headed downtown early before the streets were closed to traffic. I beat it all, parked in my expo spot, and hit the VIP suite to do an early pre-race breakfast.
Me and a friend, Mimi, of WRAL hanging out. We noshed on a half a bagel, some fruit, and I took a swing of a Coke for a little bit of sugar.
The race started about 10 minutes late to allow time for folks that were stuck in traffic. The waves went off and I was a bundle of nerves, but I remained pretty focused and started and finished pretty strong.
This was the first of many, many hills of that race. Credit to Austin for the photography with our fancy new camera!
Coming down the chute!
Gotta blow a kiss! After this, I utilized the full length of all of my legs and cranked it out for the final lap.
There was a huge fence separating us from the spectators, I’m guessing due to security reasons.
Here, I was trying to block Austin from making that shot.
We found fun Mateo (Matthew) after the race!
And the best photo of the entire afternoon?
So my review of Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh?
Incredibly well-done, and well organized. Besides parking, which was kind of annoying if you weren’t familiar with the city, you could get in and out relatively quickly if one of the booths didn’t suck you in. Some examples of vendors included Brooks (where I worked one day), Gu (where I worked another), Garmin, Tom Tom, City of Oaks, and Hoka, just to name a very few. I even caught sight of some of the brands I rock on the regular!
Race Day Logistics:
Awesome, if you followed instructions and did what you needed to to avoid traffic jams. I left early, had a plan for parking, and was where I needed to be by 5:30 am. For other folks, parking proved to be a little more difficult, especially if they did not get to where they needed to be before 6am, when they blocked the streets off. Once the race started, the waves were really done excellently, and miles were marked extremely well, and from what I could tell, extremely accurately. There seemed to be a ton of medical personnel on the course, and a lot of bathrooms. Water stops were well-manned, and there was an excellent variety of Gatorade, a Gu stop for us, as well as water. I was especially impressed with how clearly the split between the marathoners and half marathoners was defined – there was no way you could get confused on that.
So. Hilly. I mean, I run in Raleigh, I looked at the course beforehand, but that course was really really hilly, and really challenging. It was not a day for a PR, and it was pretty much, to date, the most challenging race I’ve ever done.
The finishers celebration.
Very cool, and done in a HUGE venue, where you could cop a squat anywhere. There was pizza, chocolate milk, bananas, and cold bottle waters for finishers, as well as some food trucks parked. I kinda wish there were more food trucks, but there was adequate stuff to eat.
Competitor has done it again, as far as pulling off a great race. It’s streamlined, it’s neat, and people really come out to spectate these races. Raleigh would be remiss in its duties to not allow them back.
The day was darkened by the loss of two of its competitors, participants in the half marathon who tragically lost their lives. This was due to no fault of the race, and I truly wish for swift healing for the families of those participants lost. That said, as I go forward and run in the future, I will be extra vigilant with keeping my body healthy, especially on a hot, hilly day like today was, and I plan on running this race again in the future.
How was your race or run this weekend?