D.C. Rock n Roll Half Marathon-Mike’s Review

19 Mar

My husband guest blogs about his 1st Half Marathon- The Rock n Roll Half in D.C.!  Congrats, Mike on running a great race and beating your goal time!

First things first. I did it. And … I beat my goal of 2:15 by nearly 6 minutes! Woo hoo! It was warm. It was hilly. But I have to say it was pretty exciting to cross that finish line. Nothing quite like it.

After the debacle in my last longish distance race – read about it here, here, and this post from Kate – the Rock and Roll USA Half Marathon was absolutely incredible.  It was absolutely clear that these folks know what they’re doing.

The course itself was beautiful. We ran though Capitol Hill with families cheering us on from their stoops and sidewalks. We ran past Union Station and had Pennsylvania and Constitution Ave. all to ourselves.

We climbed up Connecticut Ave. to DuPont Circle and through Adams Morgan – where of course people were handing out cups of beer (I passed) – and then past the McMillian Reservoir and right down North Capitol with the Capitol dome gleaming in the background. Then we cranked out the last few miles along H Street.

While the race was crowded, the course was wide enough to not feel uncomfortable. The organizers did a great job shutting down entire streets.

There were so many water and Gatorade stops, at least one every two miles, that I actually passed up a few. And the volunteers were more than prepared. It was terrific.

I always run with my headphones (I hate to hear my feet hitting the pavement) but turned them down a little to listen to the bands placed along the course. My highlight was making a turn on Harvard Street after about mile 9 and hearing a cover band blasting Journey’s “Don’t Stop, Believin” just when a lot people probably were.  Hilarious.

Some people were saying the course was a little too hilly, but for every hill there was a downhill that allowed me, at least, to recover pretty quickly and get back into a rhythm.

The organizers also did a great job of freeing up the finish line area with a long “tunnel” to get to the recovery area. There were no back-ups or crowding at the finish. And the sponsors literally rolled out a smorgasbord of treats – bananas, Greek Yogurt, Snickers energy bars, fruit cups, chocolate milk, and huge tubs of cold water.

After moving through this area, all of the friends and families greeted their runners.

The only negative of the day was the Metro. Despite giving myself about an hour and 30 minutes to arrive,  I arrived 15-20 minutes late because our train had to unboard due to a door malfunction and then wait 4 trains until one was empty enough for us to squeeze in.

But the thousands of people who also arrived late were still able to use the restroom and find their “pace” corrals pretty easily after organizers started about 10 minutes late. 

And leaving the race site was just as chaotic with people jammed right up to the escalator without any Metro staff in sight. It was literally a disaster. We ended up just walking to Eastern Market and having lunch.

I would definitely run another Rock and Roll Race. I had a blast.


4 Responses to “D.C. Rock n Roll Half Marathon-Mike’s Review”

  1. Bill Schweigart March 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    That’s killer, Mike – again congrats! It actually sounds like fun to a non-runner!

  2. Coco March 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Congratulations! I agree that it was well-organized and there was plenty of stuff to eat/drink at the finish. I didn’t mind the hills, except for the last climb to the finish line. Don’t tell anyone, but it was really easy to drive/park at RFK — at least from 395/295.

  3. Abby February 27, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Awesome to hear this! I am running this race for the first time in a couple of months, I am super excited and your blog post made me a little less nervous! It’s crazy I didn’t trained as well for my Disney half and wasn’t nervous at all, but look at me here now training a lot and now nervous about my run. Makes no sense, lol. But congradulations on finishing and hope to hear you’ll be running this again this year!

    • katefsummers March 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      It’s a great race and super well organized. You will rock it!

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