- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
I had been eyeing a Rock N Roll race for a long time, and I couldn't have asked for a better first experience!
PRE-RACE: It's hard for me to really comment on pre-race communication. I elected to Run this race as a St. Jude "Hero" and raise money for their charity. As a result, I didn't receive any communication directly from Rock N Roll before race day. ( I am not sure how this works for regular field runners.) Rock N Roll however, provides AMPLE amounts of communication regarding their races on their website and via social media. They truly thought of all questions that could be asked and had detailed answers to anything you could need.
The pre-race expo for this event can only be described one way for me OVERWHELMING. The field for this race is absolutely massive, and that is evident by the sheer size of not just the expo venue, but the lines you stood in at seemingly every corner. An annoying aspect of this race for me was the fact that I stood in line at the bib pick up for nearly 20 minutes, only to be give a slip of paper directing me to the charity runners booth. I think that this could have easily been explained via email or in another way instead of forcing those runners to wait in multiple lines just to grab their bibs. Overall however, the expo was fascinating. This was the second largest expo I've ever been too (first being the Boston Marathon expo!) and there was literally everything available that you could ever want or need. I was excited to pick up my first pair of AfterShockz headphones and many snacks and fuel options. At the expo I connected with a fellow "Bibrave Pro" Deidre and we explored through all the booths together, trying all the free samples we could find. We ended up staying at the expo for over an hour checking everything out.
THE SWAG: I wasn't overly impressed with the swag for this race. Half Marathon participants receive a dri-fit t-shirt (which was what I can only describe as neon-snot green LOL). The real bummer was that these shirts were not available at the expo, they had not been delivered on time and so needed to be picked up after the race which was EXTREMELY chaotic. Aside from the free t-shirt there was ample swag to be purchased at the expo. A highlight for me was the swag they sold with the names of all the runners in a particular distance on it (ex: Female half participants) it was really cool to find my name!
THE RACE: This course was easily the most exciting route I have ever been a part of. San Diego shows up in masses for this race. On every street and around every corner there were spectators and fans cheering runners on. A unique aspect of this race (one that I did not partake in) was the numerous roadside bars set up on spectator lawns throughout the course. I discovered that there was an entire group of runners who set out to stop at every single one and still finish the race (I have no idea if they made it ...HAHA!) The energy of this city is unparalleled to anything I have experienced before, and it was truly addicting. One of my favorite miles on this race was the "blue mile" this mile was dedicated to San Diego service Men and Women who lost their lives defending our country. There was an entire section of this mile when all runners ran through a tunnel of american flags, I am getting goosebumps all over again thinking about it. Such a touching tribute to so many heroes. This course had many hills from start to finish and so could feel a bit challenging at times. The crowds really helped me keep the energy high and my pace solid.
BLING: The medal for this race was themed for the city and the "rock-n-roll" signature theme. It was a nice memento to remember the day, but doesn't stand out for any particular reason. A nice element of Rock-n-Roll races is all the different specialty medals you can earn, I saw people decked out in multiple medals for completion of various challenges and reaching certain milestones.
LINE & POST-RACE: The finish line for this race is absolute insanity, there were just so many people! The finish empties out into an extremely crowded street, so if your looking for friends I suggest having them meet you at the after party and not at the finish cute, you can barely see your own feet in front of you! The post-race entertainment was pretty extensive, and there was plenty to do and see. The post-race concert was one of my favorite artists, so that was nice to see! There is a beer garden and other activities for those who wanted to hang out for awhile.