Jeff’s VA Beach Rock and Roll ½ Marathon Race Recap and Review!
Tamara and I had a great time this weekend at the VA Beach Rock and Roll ½. This was my first “official” ½ and my first Rock and Roll Event. Tamara ran the inaugural Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego in 1998 and this was her first Rock and Roll event since that time so she was also excited to get back to this series. This was also my last official event before my 1st full marathon (Baltimore) in October.
The race review is below my run recap!
Before I review the race I wanted to talk about my run. I felt really good coming into this race and was really comfortable with the distance as I’ve been running this for a few months in preparation for my marathon. I loved sharing my weekend long run with approximately 11,000 fellow runners. I spent the 45 minutes or so before the race doing what I normally do before these larger races – waiting in the porta-potty line. We got out of the line with about 5 minutes to spare before the race started so we had to literally run to the start line. I had some equipment issues early on which was frustrating to me. I brought a small camera to take pictures before and after and I struggled getting it in the right spot in my SPIbelt (I normally don’t run with a camera). I also neglected to start my iPod so for the first ½ mile or so I was getting all of that straight. I know better and will ensure that I fix all of that going forward. The race was crowded for the first 7 miles or so. I really don’t mind the crowds – we were in corral 3 (with a projected finish time of 1:45). Tamara always starts these races quick and she darts in and out of the crowd like the frog on the frogger game. I always like to run on her right so for the first few miles I was literally chasing her trying to stay on the right side. We were really running at a good pace – 7:55, 7:42, 7:48 and kept this pace thru mile 7 which I ran at an 8:03. Tamara and I like running together but have this rule that if either one is feeling better we need to just go. I noticed her pace slowing a bit and decided to move on – really hate that feeling but it is our agreement. About this time I discovered the 1:45 pace group that we had passed and been passed by earlier. I felt good at this pace and really enjoyed running with them for a few miles. The strength and speed at which they were running was motivating. I stayed with them thru mile 9 and then started to speed up a bit running mile 10 at 7:35. The rest of the race was a breeze and I still had plenty left in the tank running mile 13 at a 7:10 pace. I finished the race with a time of 1:42 and an average pace of 7:45. I was so happy with my time!
Let me preface this by saying that Tamara and I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Virginia Beach. We have started turning our racing events into destination weekends so that definitely adds to the positive experience.
This was my first expo and I loved it. We walked to the convention center from our hotel on 9th street. It was nice to see where we would be starting the next morning. It also allowed us to time our hotel to convention center walk so we knew exactly when to leave the next morning. Packet picket was a breeze, well organized and Tamara and I both spent so much money that we got VIP Porta Potty passes. I’m a huge fan of Brooks so it was nice to see their gear all over the place. We spent well over 2 hours at the expo and left with bags of freebies and purchases.
We knew where we were going and we walked so we didn’t have to worry about parking which was nice. I thought the start was well organized. We spent too much time in the Porta Potty line (even with the VIP passes). I’m not really sure how you fix this – seems to be the norm at all the events.
Wow – just couldn’t have asked for better weather – temps in the high 60’s low 70’s.
I loved the course – fast and flat. The course was changed from prior years so I have nothing to compare it to but I loved it and it was so much fun to end on the boardwalk. The crowds were great, the volunteers were plentiful and the water stops were well organized and well placed. I liked the bands at each mile – just a shame I couldn’t stop and listen to a few of the songs. I also liked the loop back and seeing the crowds on each side of the street.
Again – really enjoyed the set up at the finish. Who doesn’t like to end a run on the boardwalk. The finish line area was well organized, plenty to eat and I had my first free beer at 9:3am.
I really could go on and on about this great event. Tamara and I will be back next year and will also be running more Rock and Roll events in the future (we have one more planned this year). Thank you Virginia Beach for being such a great host and to the Competitor Group for putting on such a great event.