I'm left feeling on the fence about the 2016 RnR Dallas experience. There were some changes for the better and some for the worse.
The expo was still at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (meaning, parking can be expensive). I was disappointed with the expo this year. The footprint was much smaller than the past years. There were still great vendors but it was much smaller than usual. I wasn’t digging the merchandise this year either - the designs weren't as cool or eye-catching or unique as other races I've seen in various cities over the year. The expo and merchandise experience was for the worse.
Rock ‘n’ Roll changed the course again this year. We started near the Convention Center and went through Deep Ellum, downtown, the West End, past Dealey Plaza, crossed the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and passed Trinity Groves, headed down through Oak Cliff and Kessler Park, turned to tour the Bishop Arts District, and made our way around Lake Cliff Park and back across the Trinity River towards downtown to finish at Reunion Park. Last year, we ran down the ramp from the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to Continental Avenue, but this year we ran the portion in the opposite direction and had to run up the circular on ramp! The final turn from Reunion Blvd. to the finish line on Sports St. was actually uphill. I didn’t mind because it was a very short distance – maybe 0.1 miles. I loved that it highlighted so many of the different neighborhoods in Dallas. And I actually loved the challenging course, so the course change was for the better.
The post-race experience was a bit more stressful than it has been in the past. The line for Remix Challenge and Heavy Medals was insanely long. I waited in line almost 30 minutes - after running a half marathon - to get my extra medal. But at least RnR still provides a great deal of post-race nutrition to drink and eat while waiting in the long lone. The location of the finisher's area was in Reunion Park, which was a nice change of scenery. It allowed the separate areas to be spread out so runners weren't too bunched up. RnR does an excellent job of gear check, and that was an easy process again this year.
Overall, I would give this year's race an in-between review. With some changes for the better and some for the worse, it's hard for me to feel strongly about it either way.
You can read more about my experience here: http://racesandrescues.com/race-report-rock-n-roll-dallas-half-marathon-2016/