- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
The way that the RNR Nola relay works is that the first person runs 7.5 miles and the second person runs 5.6 miles. We had decided that I would run the first half and Melanie would run the second half. So Sunday morning came and we had our flat runners out and ready to get dressed.
The next morning we lined up at the start line and off we were off.
Melanie was able to jump in the first mile with me till she had to cut across the street to the transition area. I thought that it was kind of interesting that there was nothing telling you at the start which way to go to get to the transition area if you were running the relay. You basically had to rely on the small map they gave you at the expo. If you aren't familiar with the roads of New Orleans or the course you could get lost easily. And what else shocked me was that there was no shuttle or anything to transition area. So the first runner had to walk a mile to get to it. I realize that this may have been hard because of road closures but I think if they looked at the course a little closer they may have found a better transition zone. Anyways I was able to catch up with some friends around mile 2 and stayed with them for a couple of miles and then before I knew it I was rounding the corner at mile 7 for the transition. The course itself is amazing. They had great signs on course as to where to cut off for the transitions. (I thought I took a pic, sorry:( ) The problems started at this point...
After my half was done, I had thought about just jumping back in and finishing with Melanie after all at that point you only have 5.5 miles to go, however RNR specifically says if you don't stop at the transition you will be disqualifies and banned from running an RNR race, so of course I stopped. I understand this rule because you pay a cheaper price per person for the relay. Makes since! So after finishing they had a couple boy scouts passing out bananas, granola bars, water, and Gatorade. They gave you your medal and then you were told to walk straight down this particular street to get back to the start line where a shuttle would take you to the finish line. No problems right? Wrong, it was over a mile we had to walk down a not so safe street. Now for some of us that may not have been such a big deal, however most people run a relay because they cant run an entire half marathon. I saw a few people barely making it to the buses. They should have had some type of shuttle to get the people back to the start.
After riding the bus to the finish line party, you basically became a spectator. So you wait for your partner to come running into the finish line and into the chute where they are greeted with high fives, and you did its. They are given there medal and bananas, power bars, water, and chocolate milk. Then they can pose for their official finishers picture. This is where I think they messed up the most. The first person who ran the relay is not allowed in the chute to take an official finishers picture with their relay partner. Now some people might not think that its a big deal, but for some it is. You want the official picture saying you did it and you want it with your relay partner. After all you guys are running as one. It basically felt like those 100 or so people running the relay weren't as important as the half and full runners.
Overall the race itself was a blast. The relay was fun too. I personally would never run it again just because it wasn't what I had expected and nothing like the relay in Phoenix. However I would tell everyone to run this race considering that most people would run the half or full and it is a fantastic race. Most people may not even know they offer a relay option. I just hope that maybe with a few changes it would be an even better experience.
Update: they changed the half way point in 2015 to right at 6.5 miles and it was a lot closer to the bus transition area :)