I had the pleasure this past weekend of running the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas race. It was a lot of fun and had a spirited atmosphere, but I do think it needs some adjustments to be fitting for its southern customers.
First, let's start with the good! The sign up process was easy and there was a ton of communication beforehand from the race. The expo was easy to navigate and seemed to be plenty to see and do.
The race itself was well-organized, with ample signage and an awesome vibe! Water/aid stations seemed fairly well stocked, though I noticed some of the water servers had a hard time keeping up with demand. Aid stations are just over two miles away from each other. I didn't use a porta potty, but I didn't see any extremely long lines, so I think they had just the right amount of those.
The course itself offered a nice, scenic route that had a picture perfect view of the skyline several times. It was visually enjoyable, and there were also lots of spectators to cheer on the runners! It was a very hilly course (Austinite, here). It was actually tougher than the Austin Half Marathon course. That's not always a bad thing though - for every uphill, there's a downhill.
Swag wasn't anything too special - I loved the shirt and the medal, but that's all we got. Parking was easy to find using the Parking Panda option, but it was not really close to the start or finish, and was kind of pricy. I think I will use other options in the future.
Lastly, the music was fantastic. Live bands every couple of miles was good motivation to keep going on the tough course.
The cons? I didn't really like that one be present to pick up their packet, which was buried on the website. It's fine to have special expectations (this is the only race I've run where that has been the case), but make sure you don't waste time with unnecessary communication. People are busy, and I don't need an email a day if it's not communicating what I NEED to know.
Next, I think they were in desperate need of another water station. Texas weather is unpredictable. It might not have been necessary on another weekend, but it was hot and humid and they didn't plan for it. I loved the live music, but I would have liked to see less of that if it meant there was an additional water station.
I will definitely be back, and know what to expect with this series now, but did want to call those things out! Would love to see RNR change those things, but I'll also just prepare differently next time.
Check out my full review on my blog here: http://freetorunblog.com/rock-n-roll-dallas-half-marathon-race-recap-and-review/