Disclosure: As Rock 'n Bloggers, we were provided with a Tour Pass for race entries. We also received the VIP race day package. No compensation was received and all opinions stated here are our own.
Our first experience with the Rock 'n Roll race series was the Virginia Beach half marathon relay in 2012. It was such a fun experience that we have repeated this race three times. 2015 was the 15th anniversary of this race and the shirt and medal are extra nice.
Saturday morning we visited the expo to pick up our race packets and browse the vendor booths. Bib and shirt pickup was seamless with helpful volunteers with big smiles. Both of us love the Brooks runhappy booth which is always located at the entrance of the vendor area. The past few years, I have bought cute racer back tank tops, but this year, I only found one thing I "needed" and that was a cool gray visor that has reflective pinstripes. Sorry I have no photo because after cruising the rest of the expo, I passed on going back to the Brooks booth and have it on order through my local Fleet Feet store! One thing we love about the Rock 'n Roll expo was the number of race organizers who had race information and discounted sign ups available. While we did not take advantage of anything, I already have a few races in mind when I go to the NYC Marathon expo in October.
|Some fun areas to pose for photos!|
Saturday night we laid out our race clothing and making adjustments due to the rainy weather forecast. We decided on a 5:30am start from Christine's house and after about 45 minutes, we were parked in the VIP parking area directly across from the convention center. We grabbed our check bags and entered the convention center for the VIP pre race area that provided food, stretching areas and some real bathrooms. We had fun meeting up with Lacey (Fairytales 'n Fitness) and Kathryn (From Dancing to Running).
Soon it was time to leave the lovely climate controlled convention center and head to our starting corral. Christine moved back to run with me in Corral 4. Our race day plan did not have a time goal, but rather a strategy goal of running a negative split race. With fall marathons less than 2 months away, it seemed like the perfect time to do a training run with a little push at the end. We decided to use the Galloway run/walk method with 9 minutes running/1 minute walking and started the race just after 7am.
With the humidity very high, we wanted to be sure to start out slowly so our first three miles we averaged 9:40 pace. Our first mile was a little quicker than we planned, but race day adrenaline seemed to kick in a bit. After crossing over the Rudy Inlet Bridge, we headed towards the Virginia Aquarium and the Pungo area. Most of the race is on quiet tree lined streets but with cloud cover and high humidity, what we really were wishing for was a good rain shower to cool us down. Miles 4-6 we slowed our pace a bit reaching the 6 mile mark at 1:01.35. One of the great things about these races are the bands along the route that keep you entertained every few miles. Miles 7-9 are probably my least favorite part of any half marathon. While I did not do a mental note of exactly when we picked up our pace, based on my race splits from my Garmin, miles 10 through 13 got progressively faster with the final full mile at 9:16 pace. Our finish time was 2:06.57 which was well off our PR's but both of us were very satisfied with the result.
|Celebrating with mimosas post race!|
Lows of the race: There was only one that I will mention and Rock 'n Roll could not control this. The weather was not conducive to running/racing. Virginia Beach is a lovely location for a race but Labor Day weekend is typically very hot and humid. It is important to keep in mind that this course is not meant for PR's but to enjoy running a race.
We would definitely recommend this race weekend and hope you consider adding it to your bucket list. Hopefully we will be back next year!
Don't forget to sign up for Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas using discount code :WERUNDISNEYLV You will receive $15 off your entry!
Since today is Friday, we linked up with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney for the Friday Five. Check out the other blogs in the linkup!