What's up everybody, Ben here and over Labor Day weekend I was in Virginia Beach running the Rock n Roll Half Marathon. This was the 19th year of the race and it was a fun race. The course starts on Pacific Ave and finishes on the boardwalk right along the beach. It also goes through Camp Pendleton and passes the Virginia Aquarium.
Of course with it being the last "un" official day of Summer the beach is crowded so lets get some tips out of the way for next year. Book your room EARLY! Places at the beach sell out fast and it's hard to find somewhere to stay.
Allow yourself plenty of time getting to the Beach. If you're coming from the North you have to go through the tunnel in Hampton and sometimes traffic can get backed up.
That being said I arrived on Saturday and went straight to the expo as it is on the main road coming into VA Beach. Parking was easy and the expo was well laid out. When you first enter you get your bib and shirt. From there you head off to the Brooks merch area.
|They have my size!|
They have almost anything you could need from shoes and socks, to shorts and shirts. One cool thing about the Rock n Roll Series is they make a shirt that lists everyone's names that signed up for the race.
The rest of the expo was your usual vendors, clothes, other races in the area to sign up for. After the expo I checked into the campsite and set up my tent. After driving for 4+ hours I went kayaking in the Back Bay. Afterward I headed back to the Boardwalk for a bit of shopping and dinner. One great thing, there's no shortage of places to eat.
Race day was clear sunny and hot. When I woke up at 5:00 it was already in the 70's and it was only getting hotter. The directors decided earlier in the Summer to move up the start time to try to beat the heat, but the Virginia Summer thought otherwise.
The race start was well organized with corrals and pacers and of course Rock n Roll. The good thing about a race at the beach is it will be flat. When I first signed up I was planning on a PR, but once race day came up and I saw the temps, I decided finishing at least under 2 hours was a better plan. Did I blow my chance at a PR? Probably not, I think the heat would've gotten to me eventually even though I train and run 2 hours away in Richmond, VA. IT's been a hot Summer and there's always the Fall. On course they had Gatorade Endurance and water and one gel stop.
There are some twisty and turny sections when you get on the base, but overall the course is long straights along the main roads. The police and organizers did a great job keeping the roads clear for everyone and they also had Medical staff on course on bikes for quick assistance.
The finish area along the boardwalk was fun. After you cross the finish and get your medal everything is spaced out for bottled water, Gatorade Endurance and food. If you run multiple Rock n Roll event you can also get your multi race medal. After leaving the finisher corral there was a sectioned off area on the beach for racers only which was perfect. The cold Atlantic water felt great on my tired legs.
all in all I had a great time running the Rock n Roll Half. If your looking for a End of Summer race at a beach I highly recommend it.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to give me a follow on Social Media. Or check out the Rock n Roll website HERE