Yesterday I participated in the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, my first race in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. I didn’t know what to expect and just went by the comments my fellow running friends made: fun, well-organized, great course, etc. It lived up to it and more.
Dragged two of my friends to the expo on Saturday and it was insanely crowded. Packet pick-up was easy to find and the corral numbers were spaced out so that although it was crowded, the lines were smaller and moved quickly. I didn’t even wait 2 minutes in line. Moved to another line and picked up my shirt, and the tech shirts run super small! I normally wear a women’s small, and it looked like only a child could fit it. Fortunately, there was a table across from shirt pick-up that was exchanging shirt sizes and that was pretty busy. I sized up from a small to a large, so keep that in mind for future RnR races.
Walked a bit downtown, then carb-loaded at Fratelli’s Italian Bistro in Center City, which had amazing food/service and went home to rest early.
Race morning and the weather was overcast, 68 degrees with a whopping 93 percent humidity. The Philadelphia skyline was barely visible from all the fog. There were food/water stations located throughout the oval: fruit, granola, pretzels and water. UPS trucks were lined up at the start/finish line to hold your gear. Corrals were easily marked, however, so many people hopped in the wrong corral. There were runners from 20 in 12 and while my friend and I were in 18, we saw people from 24 sneaking upfront. I’m not a fast runner by any means, but it just meant having to weave in between slower runners and walkers. It’s not only frustrating, it’s a safety issue.
Elite runners were off at 8 AM and my corral crossed the start at 8:25 AM. I loved running the course. No matter how many times I run the same roads, I still get giddy running here at home. There were signs located at particular sights such as: Now you’re passing the Liberty Bell; Benjamin Franklin’s Grave; Love Park, etc. Didn’t take pics on my phone and just put it on ‘do not disturb’. I spend too much time on my phone while I’m running (another safety issue) and it’s just not cool. Yep, I was one of those annoying runners…
I started getting into the race at mile 4, thanks in part to Honey Stinger waffles. I’ve mentioned before that my longest run since the Broad Street Run in May was 7.2 miles and that was 3 weeks ago. Up until Saturday morning I wasn’t sure I was running Sunday. I had upper back pain and feeling stiff, but being the stubborn girl that I am, I decided to treat it as a training run. Not going for a PR, not trying to get injured, just train and have a great time, and that I did have.
Bands were scattered throughout the course, and the highlight of the event was having Rusted Root perform at Eakins Oval, right by the finish line. Your bib had a ticket to the beer garden for a free beer. Nothing felt better than watching Rusted Root perform “Send Me On My Way” while sipping an ice cold beer after running 13.1 miles!
The finisher’s medal is gorgeous!
Overall, it was an awesome event and a fun-filled weekend that exceeded my expectations. I will definitely run this next year and even look into a 2015 tour pass.
QOTD: Have you run any of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series races, and if so, which are your favorite? I’m looking to add to my list for 2015 🙂