Bibrave Race Review: Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Most of my races seem to be double race weekends. Such is life when you work every other weekend! This past weekend, I was in New Orleans for Rock n Roll New Orleans and did the 5K and the half marathon. Miss my 5K recap? Take a read!

After finishing my Saturday race, I found some breakfast before heading back for a shower. I met up later with some family friends and we looked around Jackson Square and the Cathedral. We ended up in the Garden District, mainly looking around and taking a peak at Lafayette Cemetery. We took an Uber back to their hotel and I walked from there to my hotel that was only 1/2 mile away. I ended up going to church (that ended up being 34 minutes start to finish). After chilling in the hotel, I found some dinner and ended up calling it a night. Thankfully, there was no drunk 3 AM knockers.

Sunday morning, I was up bright and early and got ready enough before heading up to the start. I was close to Lafayette Square again. I was in corral 3 and made it there with plenty of time. I met again with my friends from Saturday. I attempted to meet up with fellow Pro Justin, but we were in separate corrals. We ended up doing a ‘selfie meet up’:

The half marathon course is very flat. I was actually looking forward to it and maybe even PR’ing since I had done the race before. The first 6-7 miles were an out and back. It went through Lafayette, Livaudais, Milan and uptown Carlton by Loyola New Orleans. We had a turn around point about 4.5 miles in. It was fun being able to see the leaders on the way out at least! We came back and there was at least shade, as it was warm out and I felt like it was getting hot the second half of the race. The last part of the course hit the business district, Jackson Square, the French Quarter, the French Market and the Seventh Ward. We ultimately finished at the Botanical Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Over the course of the race, the roads were uneven and at a slant, which I could feel in my hips and back. I ended up slowing down because of it and finished in just under 2:07 (I ran it in 2:03 IN 2012).

Aid stations were every 1.5-2 miles. They were easier to see with the changes the RnR series made. They had better signage up. There was a combination of gels, water and gatorade depending on the stop and they were set up on both sides of the roads.

Post race: you were met with medals, food, water, gatorade and chocolate milk. Plenty of volunteers handing stuff out. I felt like there were too many photographers though. After the 3rd one wanting to snap a picture of me post race I was kind of over it. After you made it out of the finish chutes, there were signs directing you to various parts of the finish area. The post race party had plenty of merchandise and medal engraving, Remix/Heavy medal pick up and some entertainment. There were areas for charity runners if you ran for St Jude’s or the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation. Normatec also had an area for recovery compression, however, it was only for the marathoners. I thought it was crazy that the half marathoners couldn’t enjoy that perk as well. There was no one there for a good 2-3 hours. I think that’s something that needs rethought. There could have been more to do, as I didn’t have much to do afterwards per say. A friend of mine from residency ran for St Jude’s and I ended up meeting up with her for a little bit before I caught the shuttles back to downtown.

 

Overall, it’s a good flat race and a good race if you’re looking for a good finish time. Weather tends to be 70s and sunny, another plus. I wish there was more at the post race bash, especially since it’s New Orleans. Additionally, I wish the Normatec was open to both half and full marathoners post race.

Did you run this weekend? Don’t forget to go to Bibrave to review your races! Also, go over to Athlinks to claim your race results. Not a member? Set up your account and start claiming your results!

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Welcome to RnR New Orleans Race Week!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock n Roll New Orleans as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

We’ve entered race week for Rock n Roll New Orleans! I originally ran RnR NOLA back in 2012 while still in med school (take a look at my review from way back when here) and to say a lot has changed is an understatement. I can’t wait from some of the changes RnR has made (B tags, better corral and mile markers just to name a few) and to get back to New Orleans in general. At least a few pros are going out, so here’s to hoping for a good time! I’m running the 5K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday, which I’m looking forward too.

Looking for some things to do while in New Orleans other than the obvious French Quarters and the Cathedral?

Don’t forget about race weekend (which is why we’re really here, right?)

  • Packet pick up is March 2-3 at the Convention Center. Can’t Run without your Bib!
  • Don’t forget to look up your bib number(s)!
  • Read up on the Headliners
  • Check out the NEW Rock n Roll Playlists

As always, afterwards, don’t forget to review on Bibrave so people know what you think!

Rock n Roll NOLA: the 30 Day Count Down

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock n Roll New Orleans as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

30 Day Alert!!! We’re just 30 days from RnR New Orleans, and I’m beyond excited about going back. I’ve actually done NOLA before, last in 2012 and enjoyed a flat and fast course. It actually was my PR course up until last summer for the half marathon, so I can’t wait to go back to see if I can get under 2 hrs (fingers crossed!).

This year, Rock n Roll has some changes, which sound and look like they’re awesome. First and for most, NO MORE D TAGS! The time chips have been on the shoe for years for RnR events, this while other events have gone to Bib Timing chips. This year, RnR has finally joined the Bib Time Chip clubs. Woot Woot! We’re also getting blown up Corral signs and mile signs, so it looks like things will be easier to see and find. We’ll see how that works out, but I’ve heard good things. Also, Pizza and Messages at the finish…HELLO?!?! I’m already looking forward to that.

Need a better reason to sign up??? Take a look at the Bling for New Orleans! You can walk away with 2 medals if you do the 5K on Saturday and a race (10K/Half or Full marathon) on Sunday.

I’m guessing 6 years is too long to go between trips to New Orleans. It means I have to go back to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, take some time around the French Quarters and hopefully catch up with friends of mine from college and residency. We’ll see!

Interested in running? Hurry and register, as a price increase happens tonight at midnight! Save $15 off the half and full marathon with RNRBRP2018 to knock down the price more before it goes up! 

 

Rock n Roll NOLA Style

To say I didn’t want to go to work today is an understatement.  When I showed up we had 8 patients total, 2 of which us students couldn’t see because they were either employees or other students and, initially, there were no patients in the afternoon (but that changed)- but that’s beside the point.  I spent this weekend in New Orleans.  You know, the Big Easy.  I was suppose to fly out at like 6 pm (from BWI no less), but changed it to earlier in the day (say, 1 pm).  I took the day of from work and drove into Baltimore after a quick run, because 3 hour flights do wonders to your legs.  I met up with my sister for a quick brunch and then bolted across town to the airport.  I parked my car at 12:08 pm.  I was in through security and had enough time to take a bathroom break by 12:36 PM.  I boarded my flight around 12:45.  Talk about timing!  I had a direct flight (so about 3 hrs of airtime on Southwest) and, even though we got in 10 minutes late or so, it worked out well for me.  A friend of mine from college came out from Shreveport, LA and picked me up, getting to the airport as I was deplaning.  We headed over to our hotel and checked in and made our way over to the Convention center (a 10 minute walk) so I could get my bib.  There was a cheerleading convention thing going on, so needless to say, I saw more than enough cheerleaders with way too much make up walking around town.  There was no one at the expo, so we were able to get my stuff pretty quickly.  After the bib picking up, I headed to get my shirt.  Now, they give you the option of getting a unisex cut or a women’s cut.  I hate women’s cut running gear with a passion.  Some of us, like me, have to worry about what’s going on in the chest area, so the women’s cut shirts never fit right.  When I told the volunteers I wanted a men’s shirt, they looked at me like I was crazy, even though it was on my shirt tag that it was what I ordered.  You’d think after close to 15 1/2 marathons and 3 marathons, I’d know what I want.  Miranda (my college friend) and I made a quick run through the expo to see if there was anything I couldn’t live without and headed back to the hotel for a bag drop off and a shoe change.

We headed off to Drago’s (a seafood restaurant), where we split some shrimp pasta and catfish.  A little bit of everything never hurt.  Miranda, being a native Louisianian, took me through the French Quarter, around Jackson Square, down Bourbon Street and to a few other areas of NOLA at night.  We headed back to the hotel to figure out what to do Saturday.  We had on some TLC and were making fun of people on Four Weddings while coming up with a game plan.  Saturday morning, we headed to Cafe du Monde for beignets.  This is the place to go if you want them, and of course, you have to go to the original.  This is what these yummy looking things look like:

Thankfully, there was a race to be run to work off some of these calories.  We also went to the Hard Rock so I could get some pins and then to the River Walk for some shopping.  The Aquarium is right next door to the River walk so we headed there for a bit.  After some RnR, me checking into my flight, dinner and some more walking, we called it a night.

Sunday morning, I was up bright and early at 6 am or so for the race.  Luckily, the start was right around the corner (literally) from the hotel.  I changed, did the obligatory bathroom duty, grabbed a gatorade and headed to the start.  I snuck forward 2 corrals and waited for the start.  we started moving a little after 7 and the closer I got to starting, I bailed on my long sleeved throw away shirt.  I had a long sleeved under armour shirt on under a short sleeved shirt, which I thought would be alright.  We crossed the start about 12 minutes into the race and headed towards Loyola New Orleans and Tulane for the first 4.5 miles or so.  At mile 3, there was a lady standing on one of the street corners holding a sign that read “I’m a 6 1/2 year ovarian cancer survivor”- if you didn’t give her a high 5 or at least a cheer, you were crazy (because that’s just straight up awesome).  Around mile 3.5, we saw the leader for the men’s half marathon on his way back with no one around him.  Bands were playing and people were out in full force.  Some of the signs included “Crap, I tripped over your awesomeness” and “Worse Mardi Gras Parade Ever”.  After I figured out how fast I was going, I was able to have some sort of idea what my time was and I thought I was doing alright (it’s hard to do math in your head while running).  One of my favorite aid stations (or right before/after it) had a group of people lined up in matching outfits.  It was a group of girls and one of their guy friends dressed in drag (wig, glasses and heels to boot)- it’s the little things that matter really).  At mile 8, I decided I wanted to lose the long sleeved Under Armour shirt.  Usually, I don’t over dress, but that happened today because it warmed up.  Of course, I had to stop, walk and get the long sleeve shirt out from under the short sleeved shirt.  After that was successful and we passed the next H2O station, we came up on to mile 9 and, hark, my hotel!!!  Needless to say, I hopped into the hotel and asked if I could leave my shirt and come back for it.  The clerk was a saint for even coming near it.  We kept running and hit some more water stations, ran through the French Quarters and eventually headed toward the main City Park.  At mile 12.5, we split from the marathoners and headed out on the last .6 miles.  It’s always refreshing to see the 13 mile mark because you’re pretty much done.  As I crossed the finish, I knew I had PR’d, but wasn’t sure by how much.  Turns out, it was close to 6 minutes off my previous best.  Officially, I ran at 2:03:01.  If only I hadn’t stopped for the shirt issue, I could have gotten under 2 hours!!!  I took a shuttle back to the Business District and showered

Miranda and I headed out to brunch and then to the Nation WWII museum on Magazine street.  That took us till 1:30 or so and by the time we got back to the hotel for our stuff, it was nearly 2 and I had a major caffeine headache.

Overall, a good, FLAT race.  The weather cooperated and it wasn’t pouring down rain, snowing, mansooning or flooding. Definitely worth the $35 I paid for it (not the $90+ others paid for it) and definitely a good time.  Can officially cross Louisiana off the Half Marathon states list!

Why Hello NOLA

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What Does 7000 Registrations, 12 hrs and the New Orleans Saints Have in Common?

On Monday, my friend Jay posted posted a link involving the Rock n Roll Marathon and Half Marathon in New Orleans, LA.  If you know anything about Jay and I, we both aren’t fans of the Rock n Roll series and the Competitor group.  Why, you might ask?  They’ve been increasing prices of their marathons and half marathons (something that is next April or May is already $80-$90 just for the half marathon!) and they’ve been taking over local races that have been doing perfectly fine on their own.  So the fact that Jay posted anything made me laugh and take a look.  The link took me to this page:

Why might this be of interest to any of Jay’s running friends?  Rock n Roll New Orleans was running a promotion from noon until midnight CST. $55 off registration into the half and full marathons.  FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS!!  Instead of paying a $90 (half marathon) or $95 (full marathon) registration fee, you could get in for $35 and $40 respectively.  That is absolutely insane!!  I remember telling my mom how much I felt like a traitor since after the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half, I vowed never to run another Rock n Roll event because of the prices.  I can’t beat $35 though.  How did the discount come to be $55?  Enter the New Orleans Saints. Yes, those Saints who play in the NFL.  They happen to beat the Colts 62-7 on Sunday.  Point difference: 55.

Last night, I came across an article in one of the local New Orleans newspapers. 7000 people signed up for the race in twelve hours.  7000!!!  Organizers are convinced that it’s due to the increasing popularity of the event. I’m convinced it’s due to the price being slashed by over half.  I mean, a half marathon for $90 more than 5 months out?  You have got to be kidding me!  All in all, Rock n Roll lost $385,000 on this promotion alone ($55 x 7000 people).  I fell less of a traitor since they lost a huge chunk of money.  And guess what??  They’re using the SAINTSWIN promotion again this monday!  Only catch?  They’ll cap the discount at $21 (ie 3 touchdowns scored by the Saints).  Hmmm, I wonder why???

To you, New Orleans Saints, I thank you.  You saved me a huge chunk of money and allow me to laugh at a series that thinks $90 for a half marathon is an appropriate amount to be charging people.  I hope you win big next week so more people can take advantage!!

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