Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon Weekend: A Complete Review

 
As you may know, we spent a long weekend in Virginia Beach taking part in the Rock n Roll Virginia Beach half marathon weekend of events. We've recapped this race several times before ( it's one of our favorites), so we'll try to keep this review brief while trying to touch on each event.
 
Friday: The Expo
 
Meeting Maria from Lilmysninja
 
*In all honesty, we thought this expo was one of the best expos last year.  It was very "interactive" with games, prizes, things to do, etc.   
 
*This year it went a little down hill.  The sponsor, Brooks, really dropped the ball on this one.  No real interactive stuff, no prizes, no gait analyses, no smoothie station, nothing.     
 
*  We didn't stay at the expo long on Friday and only went back for a brief time on Saturday to exchange an item.             
 
* The best thing about the expo was the people that we got to meet. We not only met Maria at the expo but we saw Pam and Christine again and got to meet Megan for the first time.
 
* Since the Salted Watermelon GU was the official GU of this race, we thought we would get it in our registration bag, but we didn't.  We did get some free samples of GU once we were inside the expo area, but not Watermelon ( you had to buy that flavor).
 
TIPS:  *We learned that if you are signed up for a longer distance ( half marathon) and you felt you wanted to drop down to a smaller distance ( half marathon relay), you were able to do that with out an extra cost.
*The folks giving out the bibs are volunteers and you should ALWAYS double check and make sure they give you the right bib and timing chip.

                                                          Saturday: The Beach Mile

*This was the first year for this one mile race on the sand. With the amount of people we thought would be running, we thought it would be complete chaos but it was organized very well and once we got running it didn't seem crowded at all.

*This was a fun run! Everyone just lined up where they thought their pace would be, nothing official.  I thought for sure people would be kicking up sand while running but it wasn't like that at all. People weren't trying to be speedy. Everyone just took it slow because it was quite a struggle, but in a good way.

We met up with Maria again before the race and finally met our friend Heather! We all were able to run the beach mile together!
*This run may have been a bit easier had it been on wet or packed sand. This was not. It was in the deepest sand! Our quads were certainly feeling it!
We got some great swag for only running one mile!
 
TIPS:  *Wear old shoes. We debated not even wearing shoes at all but wasn't sure if that would be allowed. We did see others that didn't wear shoes. I think that was probably the way to go but the way my luck has been lately, I worried that someone would step on my feet!

 Sunday: Half Marathon Day
Heather, Lacey, Meranda, and Kathryn
 
Side Note: As I was preparing my clothes for race morning,  I noticed that my timing chip, the thing you put on your shoe, did not have my name on it. It had the name Erica on it. I was a little confused on this. I checked my bib and MY name was on the bib. I noticed the race number on the bib and the race number on the timing chip did not match! Apparently someone attached the wrong timing chip to my bib. So did that mean that this Erica girl had MY chip on her bib?  We decided to put a tweet out to see if anyone knew this girl.  What if she didn't even noticed that she didn't have the right timing chip?  In the end, one of our friends told us that there would be a Solutions desk at the race start. They did take care of the situation but we were certainly stressed out about it all night!
 
* Crowd support for this race is amazing!  There are plenty of water stops and once you get into the residential areas people have hoses and sprinklers out for you to run through.

*There are bands playing music throughout the course but there are spots where you can't here any of the music.
 
*The second part of the race is where all the fun stuff gets passed out.  Around mile 8 you run through a military camp but they are giving out GUs.
 
*Miles 9 -11 people where giving out wet sponges, ice pops, skittles, gummie bears, and I actually saw someone giving out Cigarettes (I'm sure that was just a joke though).
 
* Medical staff were great and gave out ice bags right away at the finish line.
 
*I felt that we needed trick or treat bags at the end of the race because they gave out so many goodies. Water, Gatorade, Chocolate milk, Pop Chips, bananas, Power Bars, Yogurt, Granola, etc.  Unfortunately we didn't have any place to put all this stuff so we just took a drink and kept moving.

All the great bling we earned this weekend. The middle medal is the Remix for doing both races and it is a spinner medal!
 
TIPS: *If you do the beach mile don't forget to wear your challenge bracelet on race day so you get your remix medal.  *This race is always a hot one and this year it broke the record for highest humidity on race day. If you are hesitant, be cautious and take it easy. *ALWAYS check your race bib and timing chip BEFORE you leave the expo. People can make mistakes.
 
                                                                     The Concerts
 
*The Rock n Roll Virginia Beach Half marathon weekend is held in conjunction with the Music Festival. Your race registration allows you entrance into all the weekend's concerts. There are Concerts going on the Main Stage on the beach starting late Saturday afternoon and going into evening.  Last year we spent some time on the beach listening to the music but this year we were just too tired and knew we didn't want to be in the sun that long before our half marathon the next day.
 
*Sunday night's headlining act was Train and we definitely went to see them! We saw them back in 2012 at RnR VA Beach and they put on a great show so we knew for sure we wanted to see them again!   After the concert we stayed out on the beach and watched the fireworks show. What a great way to celebrate our 13.1 accomplishment! ( 14.1 if you count the race on Saturday)
 
TIP: Even if you don't run one of the races, you can still buy tickets to the concerts. Check Groupon. Our friend bought one from there.
 
Our personal thoughts from this race:
 
 
Overall I am happy with my time, despite how hot it got towards the end. I don't feel like I was totally spent afterwards and my legs were feeling good. I felt I could have pushed a bit more, but I do have Philadelphia right around the corner. With cooler weather to come, maybe I will be able to push myself more during that race. ~L
 
Since I signed up for this race last minute I had no time goal in mind what so ever.  However, I do have a time goal in mind for when I run RnR Vegas in November. In the end, I finished this race only 3 minutes later then what my goal for Vegas is ( which I thought was pretty good considering the circumstances).  I probably could have done better, but I really pooped out after mile 11.  But I'm okay with that, I knew I was running a little cautious due to my hip ( and I had no chest pain while running by the way, thanks for everyone who was concerned).  I saw a runner being put up on a stretcher as I turned to run the last mile on the boardwalk and that was a good reminder for me not to push myself if I wasn't feeling it. ~M
 
Did you run this weekend?
 
If you are looking for more info on RnR VA Beach you might also want to check out our posts from last year.                                                        Race Expo  
Race Day       

43 comments:

  1. I agree that the Expo was not nearly as fun as what we remembered from 2011. It is a great race weekend though and Virginia Beach is a special place to us since we lived there for many years.

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    1. Besides Disney, this weekend has always been one of my favorites!

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  2. Agree you always check your bib and timing chip at every race. They always have great after race food and drinks and Train is awesome. The 1 mile beach race looked fun. Congrats on completing this-it was a hot one that day. Are you coming to the DC race in March?

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    1. We have a very busy spring so not planning to do DC at this point but ya never know. We do have a habit of doing things at the last minute!

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  3. Good to hear no chest pains. I don't have chest pains per se, but I've added an additional set for each arm weight exercise and my pecs protest. I've never done a sand run but it does sound interesting. Maybe like running in feet of snow...

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    1. I'm certain my pain wasn't from lifting or exercising...lol

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  4. This was a great and very thorough review. It kind of stinks that Brooks dropped the ball on the expo but it still looks like you guys had a great time and got to meet some great people! I also really like that they had a mile run in the sand, a fun way to get people moving before the actual race!

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    1. Yea, that mile on the sand was a fun addition!

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  5. That is so awesome you got to see Maria, Pam, Christine, and Megan! I can't wait to met y'all at Wine & Dine! :0)

    Great recap of the whole weekend...that stinks that the expo wasn't as good as last year's, but sounds like the race was overall very fun!

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    1. Sad we wont be at wine n dine this year. Cant wait to see you at Marathon weekend though.

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  6. Great job! I have run this race the last few years and I love it! It is a great race, although way too hot!

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    1. Thanks Toni. This run is one of our favorites! Don't know how many more years we will want to run in that heat though. Maybe we'll do the relay next year!

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  7. Sounds like fun! I thought, like you that they'd be passing out the Watermelon Gu at the expo when I did Seattle since they made such a big deal out of it. I purchased one, but they were passing it out on the course the next day, so it was all good. I wonder how that works. Is it exclusive for a year and then on sale in stores the next year?

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    1. I did get a watermelon GU on the course but didn't use it because I only wanted to use the ones I brought with me ( cus I had used them before and knew how I would react to it). Turns out I ended up losing my watermelon GU anyway.

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  8. I enjoy races in the R&R series! I'v edone Vegas, New Orleans San Antonio and Arizona and really had a good time at each of them!
    I love that this one finishes on the beach! If they had a full marathon this one would have been the one I chose for the state Virginia:) but for now I am leaning towards the Shamrock race, but I hear it's pretty much on the beach too. However, the last mile running in the sand would be awesome, probably more awesome in a half than a full haha..
    Such a great race series, if they were local I would totally want a job with them!!!

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    1. I hope to see you at Vegas this year. Maybe for the 5K? Or just being a spectator!

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    2. Well I think it's awesome you guys are running so many fun races this year! Congrats on your finishes, and if I am able I am going to try my best to at least be a spectator:)

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  9. Congrats on finishing the races! It must have been a fun sister weekend for the two of you!

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  10. So awesome! I love all the bling!
    I would totally have done the sand barefoot - I despise sand so wouldn't want it in my shoes for future years to come.
    That's stressful they had the chips mixed up - I wonder if that other girl ever noticed.
    Congrats on a job well done!!!

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    1. The other girl must have noticed cus she dropped off Lacey's chip at the info desk.

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  11. that looks like a ton of fun! the R & R series is on my list for next year- just need to pick a city! I think the one mile beach run is cool! I ran the 5K on the beach earlier in the year at Zooma Florida and it is tough! Great job ladies!

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    1. Those beach runs are tough! I think you should do VA Beach!

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  12. I ran the R&R Portland and the expo was not as good as last year too. We didn't get anything in our registration bag. The expo was a lot what you had experienced.

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    1. That's too bad cus last year the expo was one of the best I've been to!

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  13. Congrats to you both! Sounds like you ran good races and had fun--no small feat in the heat & humidity! I would love to do a R&R race someday.

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    1. It is such a fun race. You should do this one someday!

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  14. Congrats to you both!! I'm glad you had a good time :) Lacey, teach me the way to your abs!!

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  15. Nice job girls!! Enjoyed seeing you both at the expo! And the back half of the race is SO awesome with all the treats that the spectators give away.

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    1. This was the first time I experienced the second leg of the race. What a difference from the first 7 miles! ~M

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  16. I thought about running barefoot too, but also have crummy lucky and was worried that I might cut my foot on a shell before the half. I think it may have been a bit harder for us that way, but at least our feet were safe.

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    1. O gosh, I never thought of stepping on a shell! I was too worried about being stepped on. Stepping on a shell would have probably been a more realistic fear...haha

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  17. The crowd support on Sunday was absolutely amazing, especially those who came out and held hoses to help cool off runners, offer runners food, hand out leis, the list just goes on and on. The crowd support was definitely a welcome distraction to how hot and humid it was. It was so great to see you ladies at the expo and after the race. Hopefully we'll see each other again soon!

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  18. This race sounds great! What a cute medal for the fun run! (Although, I'm not sure how fun running in deep sand is, lol). Anyway, congrats on a good weekend!

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  19. sounds like you both ran smart races. it's so weird that they held the mile race on the unpacked sand, rather than the harder, packed sand. any idea why they made that decision? and so fun w/the concert both nights!

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    1. Don't know why that decision was made. It would have made more sense to have us run closer to the water line. Perhaps they really wanted to make it challenging since it was only a mile! They wanted to make us "earn" that medal..haha

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  20. Congrats - so impressed that everyone beat the heat. I've avoided this race in the past b/c of the temperature, but after reading everyone's recap, it is a race I may consider for next year.

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    1. It is such a great race ( even though it is very hot). Perhaps you might want to consider the relay. You still get all the same perks as running the entire race!

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  21. Looks like a great time,I kind of wish I had registered for this one, but am kind of glad I didn't know with the heat and humidity :) Love the bling!

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  22. Looks like you had a great time despite all the little problems!!!
    Love the medals :)

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  23. We are running this in 2015. Where would you recommend staying? Their site lists a bunch, but they are all at least a mile away from the start/expo/finish. Are their shuttles? Or is parking easy? Thanks!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.