This weekend is the 5th annual Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I have run the previous 4, but not this year. Here’s are the 3 top reasons why:
1) They no longer support a charity. They decided a couple years ago to be a purely for-profit race.
2) They have always been expensive, and now even more so. Sorry, I ain’t payin $150 to run a half marathon in my back yard.
3) The entertainment has gotten weak.
It’s too bad. When the race first started, it was a lot of fun. The course was lined with high-energy bands and supporters. The post race party included a a cool headliner concert and some free beers and grub.
In my opinion, it’s not like that anymore. The race just seemed to lose it’s buzz over the years. For example, the post race concert went from acts like Better Than Ezra and Bret Michaels, to (and this is no joke) some random 4th place finisher from American Idol from a few years ago. Who?!?!
So in the end, I decided to skip this year and instead look for more locally-run, charity supporting races. Funny thing, RnR sent me an email trying to entice me to become a 5-timer in this race. What was the incentive they offered, you ask? Answer: A key chain bottle opener!!!! WOW!!!!! A key chain!!!!! What an amazing offer!!!!! How could I resist!?!?! Sawwy RnR organizers, you’ll have to step up your game more than that.
That said, I have a ton of friends running this race. And since I’ve run it 4 times already, here’s my tips:
1) Don’t pay for Expo parking. They want like 15 bucks or so. Park on the street instead. You should be able to find a metered spot just as close, and it may be free (or just a couple bucks).
2) Race day – get there EARLY!!! The start and finish are two locations, and they are not close. If you are parking at the finish and taking the shuttle over to the start, you’re gonna need extra time (they have had severe issues with the shuttle system in the past). If you can, have someone drop you off at the start, that’s the best option.
3) Since you’ll be there early, you’ll need to find a place to hang out until the race starts. If you’re lucky, you can sneak into the convention center – it’s shelter and they have potties. Last year we went to the Omni hotel. They were nice to let all the runners chill. They also have potties and shelter. And I believe they had a Starbucks.
4) The race doesn’t start until 8 am for some reason. The sun will be up. If it’s a warm day, you will be blasted by the sun from the back and the front as it reflects off the Omni hotel. Have sunblock and your shades ready!
5) There are a lot of first timers at this event. Resist the urge to go out sprinting at the start (like they will be). Keep it in check. Remind yourself that you’ll see them later (when you pass them).
6) The first 8-9 miles are a general slow incline. Conserve your energy. Don’t burn out getting up the hill. Leave something in the tank for the down hill.
7) Yes, what goes up, must come down. The last 3-4 miles are mostly downhill. Enjoy it. Hopefully you didn’t burn the tank to get there.
8) Finish strong!
9) Find your friends and celebrate with the cooler of adult bevvies you had stashed in the trunk of your car, which was waiting at the finish area. You did pack a cooler, didn’t you?
So there you go. I wish all my friends running this race the best of luck! And I wish all my running strangers luck too! If it’s your fist 13.1, I send you congrats in advance!
Anyone else have any tips? Who would you like to see in concert after a race? Sup?