Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Recap – New PR & I Beat Deena Kastor!

Yay, we did it!

We did it, you guys!

Yes, I set another PR, but I’ll get to that. First, let me start at the beginning ~

Like a lot of big races, this one had an expo where we have to go to pick up our bibs. So that’s what I did.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

I saw a lotta friends there, which was good. Tho some of them didn’t notice me at first…

Photobombing like a BOSS!

Photobombing like a BOSS!

But I gotta say, the RnRDal expo has gotten really small over the years. There were not a lot of vendors. I wonder what’s going on there???

Anyway, the next morning some friends met up earrrrrrly to carpool down.

The carpool gang.

The carpool gang. We hang out under bridges and terrorize the city folk.

Since the race route had separate start & end points, we parked near the finish and then had to heel-toe it across town to the start.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

When we got there, we were waaay early. So we did like a buttload of other runners and kept warm (and off our feet) inside the Omni Hotel.

Chilaxing wide shot.

Chilaxing wide shot.

It’s nice of the hotel to let us destroy their restrooms politely sit on their floors like that. Shout out to Omni!

Chilaxing close up.

Chilaxing close up.

After a while, it was finally time to race! So we shed extra layers, dropped off our gear bags, then went to the corrals. I was in corral 1 – yippee! The horn sounded, and we were off!

Here we come!

Here we come! Lots of interesting outfits here.

The weather was decent. In the 50’s, and somewhat humid. But the rain had stopped a few hours before the race, and it felt cool.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I had a ton of friends not only running this race, but also cheering and volunteering at aid stations. So great to see so many peeps along the course!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I'll take it!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I’ll take it!

A bonus of having friends along the course is they were able to take some of the pics you see here. Tho sometimes they didn’t see me until I was going past.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

Warning ~ Mild Rant Here

The course itself was just ok with me. I do not understand local race directors obsession with having us run through West Dallas. I know they think it’s cool to have us cross some of the bridges over the Trinity River, but it comes at a cost of us passing MANY bail bond shops, car impound lots, etc. Not the best way to show off Dallas.

I boycotted this race last year because they had dropped their charity and were strictly for-profit. That, and I thought the quality had gone downhill year after year. Part of that quality is the on-course entertainment. There was not a lot of crowd support. And for a race that bills itself as “Rock n Roll”, there were hardly any bands along the course. Speaking of which, why is it they always seem to be taking a break when you run past?

And I already mentioned the disappointing expo, but people were also disappointed with the medals. They were very small and kind of uninspired. What gives RnRDAL?

Warning ~ Mild Rant Over

Runnin over a bridge.

Runnin over a bridge.

Other than that, the course was nice….except for the hills! They threw in a few doozies. Especially towards the end.



I felt pretty good during this race. I never even wanted to stop and walk (well, I might have wanted to on that last hill – but didn’t!), I never drank anything at the aid stations, & I didn’t even eat my Gu. I was never completely uncomfortable during this race. That’s good, because it means I can go faster!


Proof that I ran the race.

I don’t know why I felt so good. Could be that everything just fell into place. However, I did do one thing different that morning…I drank UCAN.

My new BFF.

Just a couple of BFF’s.

They are one of Meb’s sponsors. When I met him back in December, they gave us a free sample. I decided to try it before this race. I need to do more experimenting to see if it really works that well for me, or if it was a fluke!

Back to the race ~

It finished outside American Airlines Center, which is where the Mavericks & Stars play. If you’ll recall, I ran a fun 5k at the same spot back in the fall. Here’s the recap.


Flying to the finish.

Finally, I passed by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders who were dancing near the end and finished the race! New PR! WooHoo!

The stats.

The stats.

This was my first race since turning 40 earlier in the week. I was probably the youngest in my age group. Hahaha, I guess it’s not any easier than the 35-39 age group. I was in the top 6% overall, but only top 13% in my division. Ahh well.

Oh, and one cool feather in my cap is now I can officially say I beat Deena Kastor in a race. She was there pacing the 1:45 group. But officially, it will go down in the record books as me finishing ahead of her. Hahaha!

Anywhoodle, at the finish area I saw a bunch more friends!

Some friends.

Some friends.

And then it was time for the post-race party. I was excited because Eric Hutchinson was the headliner. I actually like some of his music.

The party was ok. They gave us one free Mich Ultra beer. To me, MU is like drinking water. Not much flava. And if you wanted more than one, then you had to shell out $6 a piece. HAHAHAHAHAHA…No thanks!

Our one free beer.

Our one free beer. Celebrating the many PR’s set this day by the members of the Carpool Gang.

So we left to go get brunch and margaritas at a TexMex joint. But before we did, I got in one last 6 second video of the party.

So there it is, another half marathon in the books. And yay for the PR!!!

How bout you? Ever raced without stopping or drinking/eating anything along the way? Are you scared of the Carpool Gang? Did you race this weekend?


Categories: expo, fitfluetial, Life Times, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Recap – New PR & I Beat Deena Kastor!

  1. I should know never to believe your post titles by now. LOL

    Congrats on your PR!

  2. charissarunning

    Woohoo – congrats on a race well run and a new PR! Those are some fantastic split times too!! Sorry the course wasn’t too enjoyable though. Maybe RnR will read your review and fix things for next year!
    I’ve never done a longer race without at least having water. But I don’t really fuel at all for 5k’s if that counts?!

    • Woo to the Hoo! Thanks so much! And thanks for noticing – I was pretty happy about my splits too!!! Well, I took their survey afterwards and told them all the same stuff, hopefully they will listen!
      This was my first time without taking any fuel at all. But I’m like you, I don’t at 5k’s either. I figure if I keep running past the water stops, the pain will be over sooner.

  3. Congratulations! It’s too bad that the race isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And I completely agree with you on Mich Ultra–I’d rather be drinking just plain water, and the thought of paying $6 for one is absurd. For anything longer than a 10k I usually bring my hydration belt, one bottle plain water, one Nuun. Works well, especially on hot or humid days.

    • Thank you! Yeah, I feel bad for all the newbies – a bunch of them run this race and I wish the race was as crazy for them as it used to be. Yes – it tastes about the same as water!!! Weird that they were charging – the last two races I ran that they sponsored, it was all you could drink. Good that you have a plan down for fueling on longer runs. I always take a bottle with me on long training runs, but I usually rely on what’s on the course during race day. Keep it up!

  4. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes

    Similar experience at RnR DC a few weeks ago, I was very underwhelmed by the entertainment on course. I remember it being so much better a few years ago. Not sure what’s up with that! Congrats on a great PR and beating Deena Kastor (in my dreams, lol)!

    • Bummer about RnrDC. I hear from people all over the country that that is the way they are going. Too bad. The only other one I ran was New Orleans (twice) and had fun both times – but it was in New Orleans after all! Thank you!!!!!

  5. Well done!

  6. Yay! Congrats on your new PR, old man! I’m so happy you didn’t crash after not being able to train for 2 weeks. Your body was probably celebrating the whole time you were running. I’m also glad to read this cuz I’ll be running the rock n roll in Virginia beach this year! I’d love to know more about their organization. And the bands BETTER NOT be taking breaks when I run by! That’s bs if you ask me :c). But whose asking?

    • Thanks so much!!! I was really happy too. I wasn’t expecting much going in, decided I shouldn’t go for a PR, but just feel it out. Luckily it worked out! Good luck at RnRVB!!! I hope it’s awesome! I think each city is run differently, so hopefully yours is a great experience! I know, right?!?! I understand it’s hard to play for several hours straight, but they should have a plan going into it to be ready for that! Like rotating breaks for band members. Sheesh!

  7. UCAN is the best stuff. I never fuel during half marathons and mostly don’t need to hydrate, although I usually carry my own UCAN Hydrate and sip some just in case.

    Congrats on the new PR! Um, I hate to break it to you, though, but in New England those would not be called hills. πŸ˜‰

    • Good to know! A few people now have told me they swear by UCAN. Must get some!

      Thank you! And um, these might not be hills, but maybe the reason you don’t need to hydrate during longer runs where you live is because that’s not real heat your experiencing! πŸ˜‰

  8. Congratulations on the PR and for running faster than Deena! I have never raced a half without drinking at least some water. I can get through them without food or gels though. No races for me yet. Just racing around with Kobi.

    • Thanks so much! I haven’t raced either without grabbing some water along the way (except for 5k and 10k’s). I hope the snow melts for you soon so you can race again!

  9. Great race!!! Great PR!!!! And you beat one of the fastest women so kudos to you. Knuckles. Congrats πŸ™‚
    I wonder what’s going on with RnR? I normally like them, but hearing things like this? Eh. They’re giving a HUGE discount to the Raleigh race so I wonder if they’re struggling or just being nice.
    As for not having any food/drink for a half. That’s impressive. Maybe I’ll check out this UCAN stuff. Or ICAN. Because if UCAN, ICAN. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you!!!! Hahahaha, thnks again!
      What is up with RnR is they care more about making bank than making a great race experience. They aren’t struggling, so it’s probably just one of their random deals. That’s the only reason I ran this one – cause I got a discount one day. I’d love to run in Raleigh. Love that town!
      Yes, UCAN, and ICAN and WECAN!

  10. Top 6% is awesome. I tend to avoid the huge corporate races for the reasons you stated. I like the smaller races. Usually more bang for your buck.

    • Thank you! And I agree! The smaller races are usually more concerned about making a great race than counting their skrilla.

  11. WOWSA!!! Great job!!!! I can do a half without stopping to pee, but I always drink at the water stops. Congrats!

    • Thank you!!! Yes, this was a first for me. I kept wondering if it was gong to come back and haunt me, but it never did!!

  12. Nice job! Congrats on the PR! I ran without any fuel on my first half marathon and survived. Sometimes when you’re on a roll you just have to keep on keeping on.

    • Thank you!!! Oh wow, you did that on your first half? Glad it worked out! And yes – sometimes we just have to keep on truckin!

  13. Congrats on beating Kastor. One day you might beat Meb. He’ll be on crutches. But hey, it’s what the results say that matters. πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you! πŸ˜‰ Ha, I saw Meb was pacing the 1:30 group at RnR San Diego. But I can’t run a 1:29 yet. But yes, the results will live online forever!

  14. Great PR!!! I love how you can turn every race into a party. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you!!! Haha, I guess we do kind of make a party of it all. Ha, we were kicking ourselves when we got to the parking lot cause nobody brought anything to tailgate with. Next time!

  15. Well run race! Congrats! You are not the only one who has disappointed in RnR lately. I hear the entertainment everywhere keeps getting smaller and smaller. And I have never passed a band playing. I think they are always taking a break πŸ˜‰ I had two athletes run the Dallas full and they were sort of shocked/disappointed with where the race took them. They said it was a tad depressing at times. Either way, nice work with constantly pulling out PRs!

    • Thank you!!!! Yeah, I keep hearing RnR is really lessening the experience all over the country. Bummer. Hahaha, why are they always on break?!? You had two runners in Dallas in December? Yeah, we were disappointed when we saw that the course was going to take the runners certain places it did. I do know that the rich folks in some of the neighborhoods that are full of historical mansions have been complaining nonstop to city officials about hating having races shutting down streets in their hood. Unfortunately the city is listening to them and not letting races go through there anymore.
      Thanks again!

  16. Congrats on the PR! I am super impressed you ran that half without fluids and food AND felt good! That is a good sign you could go faster.

    I wonder why they changed the course this year. Was it to try to get more people? I wonder if people are losing interest in RnR. Hmm

    • Thanks so much! I agree, I should be able to go faster! And I missed two weeks of training, so that gives me even more hope!

      I don’t know. They actually changed it a couple times. I don’t know if it’s what they want, or if the City is making them. I don’t think people losing interest – tho they said there’d be 12,000 and it ended up like 8,500.

  17. Congrats on the PR but sorry the race was a little lackluster. If you want better, beer, you have to come to Canada, eh? And the fact that you tried UCAN for the first time before a race ignoring all the race rules that tell you not to try something new on race day… well that took a lot of courage and I’m glad it worked out! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you!! Hahaha, I’d love to come to Canada, eh, to race..and drink the beer! I remember visiting Vancouver and having this amazing maple beer. Hahaha, well I didn’t think about that. My stomach is usually pretty hardy, so it didn’t concern me to try something new on race day…tho you’re right, that was probably dumb! πŸ™‚

  18. Congrats on the PR, that’s awesome! Love your recaps. I find races with low crowd support hard at times but you’ve got to have a good course if you’re not going to have crowd support.

    • Thank you!!!! I try to keep the recaps as visual as I can. πŸ˜‰ That’s true – people don’t want to go stand next to a bail bond shop to cheer for runners. I think the dreary weather may have kept people away too. But yeah, it’s probably mostly the course.

  19. Huge congratulations on the PR, and beating Deena πŸ™‚ That’s awesome you PRed with some hills, and still feeling like you had some in the tank!
    Crazy you didn’t stop for anything to drink!
    The first marathon I ran was a RnR, and I’ve done one other half RnR. The best part of them is the bands to distract you. That’s too bad they didn’t have many, but at least they had cheerleaders!

    • Thanks so much!!! Yeah, when we hit that last hill, I just kept telling myself to keep going, it hurt tho.
      Yeah, I kept wondering if it’d come back to haunt me, but it never did! Yeah, that’s why this race is good for newbies – they’re supposed to have all the distractions. Ha, yes, they did have a few cheerleading teams tho!

  20. Pingback: Race Pics, Puffy Cheeks & Tacos | Piratebobcat

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