Thursday, November 16, 2017

Savannah Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon

Disclosure: As a member of the 2017 #RockNBlog team, I was provided with a complimentary 2017 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series Global Tour Pass.  This provides me with entry to their race series, however no other compensation was provided and all travel and other expenditures are paid for by me.  As always, all thoughts are strictly my own.

I ran the Savannah RNR Half Marathon on November 4, 2017 for the first time.  I had never been to Savannah however I know from previous RNR races that they have the best expos along with being the best races to attend.  The top five reasons why Savannah RNR rocks are:

  1. Expo:  Savannah International Trade and Convention Center is located on Hutchinson’s Island across from Historic Downtown Savannah.  It is a beautiful location on the river and easily accessible by car and ferry.  The RNR expos are one of the best race expos-easy to navigate layout for packet pick-up along with vendors add up to tons of fun!  
I love all the picture opportunities available and the opportunity to visit the official RocknRoll partners.

2.  Food:  Savannah is known for its restaurants and food vendors.  A foodie heaven! One of the best things about the Savannah is the expo location allowing you to catch a ferry across the river to historic downtown Savannah. There are tons of restaurants along the riverfront and downtown.   I had dinner at Treylor Park Savannah trying their famous Peach Pit drink and Grilled Apple Pie Sandwich.  Can you say delish?  
And, no trip would be complete without visiting the famous Leopold's ice cream shoppe.  Their motto is “Good things to eat, good things to drink”.  There is always a line but don’t let that stop you from going there!  It is decorated as an old fashioned ice cream shop and with flavors like coconut, chocolate chewies and cream, tutti frutti and honey almond and cream (just to name a few)-you can’t go wrong!  I had the coconut ice cream with a sugar cone.  Amazing!

3.  Crowd Support/Bands/Pirates:  The Savannah RNR race starts downtown, crossing a bridge into an older neighborhood.  The crowd support was wonderful; seeing people out in the early morning cheering for runners.  While most races have good crowd support, I felt that Savannah neighborhoods were one of the best for runners.  The bands were amazing through the race-playing upbeat music with the neighborhood people dancing along to the beat.  This was wonderful to see while holding signs, cheering us and congratulating us for being there!

The Savannah RNR even hosts pirates!

But the best was Mile 11-BEER!  There was a beer tent for runners and after grabbing beer around the corner was an inflatable dragon.  

I have to admit that I loved Mile 12-it was the one mile house!  The people who lived there figure out that it was one mile to the finish line playing the theme song to Rocky and signs in their yard!

4.  Savannah beauty:  Savannah is a beautiful city with the architecture, gardens and parks, river and neighborhoods.  The race course takes you through Savannah to enjoy the city’s beauty.  Running past the parks, houses and sites such as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the birthplace and childhood home of the Girl Scouts Founder, Juliette Gordon Home.  

5.   Forysyth Park:  The race ends in beautiful Forysyth Park.  It is the largest park in historic Savannah and boasts some 30 acres of park land.  Arranged with a beautiful fountain and monuments, the runners village added a welcome addition to the scenery.

The RNR runner’s village didn’t disappoint with beer, merchandise tents, the VIP area and of course, the headliner band,  Fitz and the Tantrums.  A beautiful setting with amazing RNR with a cold beer and medal-what could be better!  Life is tremendous in Forysyth Park!
RNR Savannah was a weekend of memories with amazing new friends, beautiful location and
fabulous food!  RNR Savannah is rockin’ life at its best!
This was such a fun race and I will definitely be racing next year in Savannah's RNR along with hoping to spend more time in the city.  Thank you to all the volunteers, first responders, others and the people of Savannah  who helped make this race so memorable for me!  

Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bull City Race Festival-Race Recap

This race intrigued me.  It was advertised as a race with a food truck rodeo.  Who doesn't want to go to a food truck rodeo?  Ok, so I was hooked. And it was the one year anniversary for my IRun4Michael buddy, Andrew giving me a great excuse to earn a medal for him.   I registered for the 5 miler because in all honesty, my training and running have gone downhill.  Since June, I really haven't been running and in a slump and depressed.  Then, starting in August, I've been working 75 hours a week between two full-time jobs.  Yes, I am that crazy but a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Packet pick up was in Durham at the Convention Center.  Parking was a bit of a hassle since it was parking lots or on street parking only and it was crowded.  I finally managed a parking spot on street and walked several blocks to the Convention Center.  It was a beautiful sunny day and downtown Durham is quite nice.

 Outside the Convention Center, there was a small park with a bouncy house, a life-sized chess board, face painting and a local radio station playing music.

I liked how the expo was very kid friendly.   Once inside, the packet pick-up was very well organized, friendly volunteers along with having my IRun4Michael buddy packet attached to my bib.  Thank you for doing this for Andrew, my buddy!  This was a pleasant surprise!
The expo was small but well attended with various races to register including next year's Bull City Race Fest.  Of course, I registered for next year since the price was so low for the race.

 I saw "in the wild"  Balega silver socks noticing that Fleet Feet have their own special edition of these socks.

  I also took a picture of the race course for in the morning.

Saturday evening, I laid out my flat me and picked out my Bible verses for the race.

Sunday morning came way too early for this girl who only gets about 20 hours of sleep during the week.  But, I was excited about running again.  The race was to start at the American Tobacco Campus.

 One of the other reasons that I registered for this race was that I had heard about the ATC and was curious about it.  It is a campus filled with restaurants, shops and offices in Durham.  Parking was easy and the ATC was nice.  While walking to the start line, I received a text message from a friend who was running the one mile race with her work colleagues.  What a wonderful surprise as she didn't tell me and it was fabulous to see her!!

The start/finish line was next to a beautiful park with tents for the runners' village circled by about six food trucks.  Ahh, the food truck rodeo in its glory!

The race started  promptly and we were off.  We started with a uphill climb and this was tough after not running for several months.  The race itself was rolling hills through downtown Durham.  There was not a lot of race support but the people that were out were very supportive.  There was a small tuba band around mile one and then the course went into a beautiful Durham neighborhood with parks and Victorian homes.  Lovely!

Around mile 2.5, there was a bakery and they were handing out small donuts with water.  This was a beautiful gesture on their part and well received.  There was a water stop around mile 3 and off to the finish! The finish was tough, all uphill but I knew that since it was an out and back course.  Finishing was great as there were a lot of people cheering you up the hill!  The medal is fabulous with a huge bull on it!

I finished slower than I would have liked to finish but with decent time for not running for two months.  I walked around the village with my water and beer.  I looked at the food trucks but the lines were so long that I just decided to come home.

Overall, this was a great race but hilly!  Next year, I will now more about the race and how to train, the food truck rodeo and I think that I may try to stay at a hotel to enjoy more of the festivities for the weekend.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers, first responders and the people of Durham who cheered us on during the race!

Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

#RIOTS Week Six and Seven

It's weeks six and seven for the #RIOTS.  I got a week behind as I had a lot of personal things going on these last two weeks. I ha...