August 28, 2014

How to Rock VA Beach like a local!

With a combined 23 years of residency in the Hampton Roads area, with 14 of those being in Virginia Beach, I think we can consider ourselves locals on the area.  We've already shared our ten tips to enjoying Virginia Beach like a local and we figured it made sense to share some insight into the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach half marathon as well.

1. Beware of the heat.  Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach race weekend is known to be a very hot event.  It is the end of the summer in a mid-Atlantic beach town, so I'm not sure anyone would expect otherwise.  With that, be mindful of what you wear and choose something cool.

2. Bring some hydration.  While the course has tons of water stops, I was grateful that I had a handheld water bottle when we ran the relay in 2012.  And also a word of caution…we experienced some very chaotic water stops in 2012 so be patient when you pass through.  I've heard that RnR has made a lot of improvements in that area so fingers crossed that's no longer a concern!

3. Plan for the parking situation.  There is definitely not enough parking at the Va Beach Convention Center so locals are encouraged to park at Farm Bureau Live (formerly the Virginia Beach Amphitheater); there will be shuttles from this venue to the start and finish line.  And for those who are staying at the oceanfront, there will be shuttles from various locations to the starting line and finish area.  After having dealt with race morning traffic at the oceanfront before, I can tell you that the shuttles are the way to go.  Or if you want to skip the shenanigans altogether and have a spot at the convention center, you may want to consider the VIP package.

4. Prepare to beach bum after the race.  The race finishes on the boardwalk and the post-race party is on the beach, so why wouldn't you bring a towel and bathing suit for post-race beach enjoyment?  This is not rocket science, people!
After the 2012 race on the beach

5. Check out the sights.  You'll pass by some of Virginia Beach's notable sights along the race course including Rudee Inlet, the Marine Science Museum (aka the aquarium), Camp Pendleton, and the Boardwalk.  When you cross over the Rudee Inlet bridge, take a look on both sides. It's an incredible view…and you'll be grateful you reached the top of it both times you have to cross it during the race!

6. Know the boring sections.  Yes, like any race course there are sections that aren't my favorite.  For the Rock 'n' Roll half course, this is miles 7-10ish.  You'll be pretty far off the oceanfront and there isn't usually much air movement…or much to see.  Enjoy the bands or make a friend on the course during this section.

7. Don't let the sun get you down.  With a 7:00 AM start time, it will be sunny so I'd recommend a hat/visor, sunglasses, and sunscreen.  You can thank me later, especially the part about sunscreen.  And if you choose to hang out on the beach after the race, make sure you have sunscreen for post-race too.

Looking for more info about race day?  Check out the official event guide here.  They even have a "run like a local" section on page 42 and these are many of my routes - they're good ones!

Disclaimer: As a Rock 'n' Blogger, I received a free race entry into the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach half marathon.  All opinions are my own.



  1. Replies
    1. I remember pouring water on my head two years ago....prepared to do the same thing this year!

  2. Have a great race this weekend!!

  3. All great tips, especially about needing to bring water. It was so hot and humid during last year's race.

    Looking forward to seeing both of you this weekend!

    1. Can't wait to meet you Kathryn. We will be at the expo Friday afternoon!

  4. Great tips, looking forward to this weekend.

  5. Great list of tips. Thanks for sharing.

  6. i love posts like this -- great tips! have a great time this weekend :)