Posts Tagged With: bret michaels

Dallas Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon Tips (& why I ain’t runnin it)

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.

My sis and I running the race a few years ago. I'm the one on the right.

My sis and I running the race a few years ago. I’m the one on the right.

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.

My sis and me.

My sis and me and a lost man behind us.

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?!?!

He spells his first name with only 1 "T".  Maybe I should go by Scot?

Bret spells his first name with only 1 “t”. Maybe I should go by Scot?

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.

One of the 4 medals I currently own from this event.

One of the 4 medals I currently own from this event.

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).

At the expo.  I got several compliments on "my style", so I'm never going to change outfits again.

At the expo. I got several compliments on “my style”, so I’m never going to change outfits again.

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.

Another of the medals.  And some tin foil.

Another of the medals. And some tin foil.

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!

Some years it's hawt, some years its cowd.

Some years it’s hawt, some years its cowd.

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.

Who doesn't love a 9 mile incline?

Who doesn’t love a 9 mile incline?

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?

After the race with some friends and a giant ferris bueller wheel.

After the race with some friends and a giant ferris bueller wheel.

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?

-Scott

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Rock n Roll Marathon Dal Vs N.O. #blog

I live in the Dallas area, so it’s easy for me to run the Dallas Half.  I love Nawlins, so it’s easy to talk me into going to the big easy to run that one too.  Haven’t done any other cities’ as of yet, but running these two five times has given me some perspective. Don’t believe that I’ve run them?  Check out these videos:

First off, me thinks it’s a little sad that one race is kind of taking over the country and globe.  It kind of loses the local ownership when a chain takes over.  Kind of like the Walmart of racing.  That said, they do a decent job of it.  They do retain some of the local flava flav.  I must say though, out of the two cities, the New Orleans race is funner and more localer.  I guess that’s not fair to compare, as the city of the crescent is going to have an advantage over most other cities, no matter what the event!

I do like how they have bands along the course.  Though I do feel sorry for them because most people only get to hear about 20 seconds worth of their music as we run past.  But, a gig’s a gig I suppose.  The major draw they advertise is the “headliner” band that plays at the finish line.  I put “headliner” in “quotes” for a “reason”.

Here’s the good:  Dallas – Better Than Ezra.  Better than I expected.

Dallas – Bret Michaels.  Wasn’t a fan before the performance, but he genuinely put on a good show!  Seemed to be really enjoying it.

He spells his first name with only 1 "T".  Maybe I should go by Scot?

He spells his first name with only one “T”. Maybe I should go by Scot?

New Orleans – Bowling for Soup.  These guys were hilarious!  Great times!!!

Bowling for Soup, blowing away the crowd!

Bowling for Soup, blowing away the crowd!

Here’s the OK:  New Orleans – Rockin Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.  I only categorized them as OK, because I don’t consider them a “headliner”.  They put on a great show fo sure and were no doubt local, but I wouldn’t pay $40 to go see them.

Here’s the bad:  Dallas – Oh gosh, I forgot his name.  He was the “headliner” for 2012.  I had never heard of him, but apparently he was like the 4th place finisher on American Idol.  Never seen that show.  Didn’t see much of his concert – I actually thought he was the opening act.  Our city got jipped when you compare to what some other cities got.

But anyways, it’s all good.  I do have to give the advantage for post-race concert to New Orleans though.  Here’s why:  when you finish the race you’re at the Old City Park.  About a .75 mile walk from the shuttles, so everyone stays.  When you finish the Dallas race, you’re like a .05 walk from your car in the parking lot, so everyone takes off.  In New Orleans, you’re almost forced to stay and party.  And they do party.  When there’s not open container laws, it makes it easier to get down and funky in public!

Bout to party with 20,000 of my closest friends.

Bout to party with 20,000 of my closest friends.

The medals are pretty cool.  I like how they change them every year to try and represent something local.  I have to give an advantage to Nawlins tho.  Why?  They use beads for the ribbon and I am a SUCKER for the fleur de lis, and in 2012, they had one on it.

Hey Mister! I like your "throw".

Hey Mister! I like your “throw”.

That said, I still like the Dallas ones too.  And an advantage is that usually I gots family waiting at the finish line.

The course also has to favor New Orleans.  It’s really pretty running through the Garden District and also the French Quarter, which I like to call the Freedom Quarter.  Plus, it is perfectly FLAT.  Where Dallas is a looooong incline.  New Orleans is so flat that several elite runners were there trying to qualify for the Olympic trials.  Several of them did.  Several set records.  Only problem with their course is that the roads in a city built on swamp land are bumpy.  In fact, my friend broke her foot during the race after hitting a bump.  She’s a trooper though and finished anyway!  Also, the Dallas course isn’t exactly scenic.  And I have this question for every single race director in town – Why does each long race have to go up Turtle Creek Blvd?  The houses are nice, but surely there’s other spots to run.

Anywhoodle, the start times also give an edge to Nawlins.  7 am vs 8 am makes a difference heat wise.  Plus we get to the party sooner!  Which also happens on the course itself – lots of people running in costume and spectators handing out beers to the runners!  Oh, and I just thought of a kind of negative about the run in New Orleans – If you ain’t careful, you can really sabotage yourself with rich food, strong drink, and lots of walking and carrying on before the race.  My sis and I made that mistake the first time out – partied too hardy, including the night before the race!

In the Napoleon House Bar.  His crazy eyes embraced us after a hurricane or several.

In the Napoleon House Bar. His crazy eyes embraced us after a hurricane or several.

So New Orleans is clearly the winner.  But here’s on bright spot for Dallas – The year that Troy Aikman ran the race, my sis and I beat him by about 15 seconds!  Boo yah!

So long Troy Aikman.  My sis and I are takin it to the house...or at least the finish line.

So long Troy Aikman. My sis and I are takin it to the house…or at least the finish line.

Anyways, I’m just glad there are these opportunities for people to run.  It shouldn’t really be a contest, but I guess I made it one didn’t I?  That said, I did sign up for the Dallas race again for 2013.  Why not?  I’m here.  I’ve run it every year they’ve had it.  Maybe they can make up some ground on The Big Easy.

Peace out!

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