Before this weekend, I thought Rock n Roll was overrated. I hadn’t done one, but there was no way that a race series that puts on races in as many cities as they do can do a great job at all of them.
Oh boy, was I wrong.
I took a half day from work and set out to drive to Raleigh. I somehow timed it to where I would arrive right when the expo was opening. I braced myself for bad traffic and crowds (I hate city driving) but was pleasantly surprised with a super easy drive. After handing over $7 to park in the Convention Center garage (ouch), I went inside.
Other than the extreme level of organization they had at number pickup and shirt distribution. I have to say at this point I wasn’t impressed. I had an expo of Marine Corps Marathon proportions in mind, especially since it was in a convention center. There were a few vendors, but a good portion of them were either local things, things I had no interest in (organic home delivered food?) or just plan random (the rice booth). I did enter to win a few free race entries (so far I haven’t won any of them). I had planned to kill an hour before my friend Meredith got off work, so I aimlessly wandered around picking up a few free things.
We were instructed to park near the Convention Center, and walk or shuttle the 1ish miles to the start. I found a cheaper place to park this time (thank goodness) and set out to walk. I made it a block before finding the shuttles and since I couldn’t feel my fingers, I hopped in one.
I’m so glad I did because not only was it warm in there, the start line was further away than I thought and I’m pretty sure I would have gotten lost. Our bus driver actually missed a turn at one point and I thought we were going to be late but we made it.
There were over 2,000 people at the start line, which I think makes it the biggest 5K I have ever done. I somehow got seeded into Corral 2, which was good since I was not feeling standing around for very long in the cold.
We took off (up a hill) and began the twisty turny course through Dorothea Dix Park. There was a band at mile marker 1 and 2, and spectators on a good amount of the course. Nothing particularly jumped out at me as special about this race, other than the energy. I still hadn’t fallen for Rock n Roll yet.
I have no idea what my time was, because it turns out I completely didn’t understand the timing system. The bibs had a weird red piece on them when I got them, but I though it had something to do with bag check, so I didn’t bring it with me. My friend Allison (thankfully before the half) let me know that it was my timing chip and I should have put it on my shoe (I felt so dumb).
The medal for the 5K is gorgeous and heavy! I could probably knock someone out with it!
Because of street closings, in order to guarantee parking we had to arrive by 5:30 (for a 7am start!). I woke up all excited, drove to my parking spot, and then I waited in my car. Had the weather been normal I might have walked around and explored a little, but it was 30 degrees outside and I was perfectly happy staying in my car. However, after about 30 minutes I started to get really sleepy, so I started to play games on my phone to keep myself awake. Around 6:15, I started to feel really nauseous for no apparent reason. By the time I walked to the start at 6:45, the feeling hadn’t gone away. I changed my goals to be
- Don’t throw up
- PR (this was the dream goal at this point, but my main goal originally)
|I’m calling it now that a PR won’t happen here due to the heat!|