The VIP experience at a Rock ‘n’ Roll race is not to be missed. The problem is, now I am spoiled and want VIP at every race! Check out my Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans VIP experience, but please note not all experiences are exactly the same or offer the same amenities.
We picked up our wristbands at the Health & Fitness Expo and were told to meet in the lobby of the Hilton New Orleans to access the VIP breakfast. It was a chilly morning, so we were really happy to be inside somewhere warm while we waited for the race to start just a few steps away.
The race started at 7:30am, and the VIP lounge opened at 6am. We were given the option to drive our car to the finish that morning and take the shuttle back downtown (the race doesn’t start and end at the same place). But the pickup at the finish was super early so we opted to walk to the starting line from our hotel and take the VIP shuttle back to the hotel post race. (Tip: ask your hotel for a late checkout so that you can stay at the post-race party longer and enjoy every minute of the VIP experience!)
After our wristbands were checked, we headed upstairs to the food. The spread included yogurt, bananas, bagels, coffee, and water. I was just “eh” with the options, but I also didn’t want to eat a ton pre race and remembered they would have food for us after the race.
A conference room was set up with tables for us to eat at, and there was coffee and water, as well. We enjoyed just sitting for a few and waking up a bit before the race. A huge perk for me was being able to use a regular bathroom pre race. We waited until the last minute, hit the bathrooms, and turned in our bags to the VIP gear bag check right in the lobby of the hotel. We would be able to retrieve them post race in the VIP tent. Since it was a cold morning, it was so nice standing in a warm lobby until five minutes pre race then running to our corrals right before the gun went off.
After the race, we looked for the VIP tent, which was huge and super easy to find. It was blocked off by gates and had covered areas, as well. It was near the stage where the music was playing without being TOO close to the noise. We showed our bracelets and were ushered inside.
We headed straight to gear check and got our bags. We had brought a change of clothes so that we would not be as gross while enjoying the food after the race. They had separate men’s and women’s changing tents, as well as porta-potties, too. After we changed, we got on the waiting list for a free ten minute massage.
Soon after coming out of the changing area, it was time for my massage! These ladies stretched out my stiff and tired muscles, which was exactly what I needed after the half marathon. It wasn’t the best massage I’ve ever had, but hey it was free.
I was getting pretty hungry by this point, so it was time to grab some food. As I went under the tent, I noticed they also had a charging station for our phones, which was a really nice touch.
Plenty of Gatorade and water were waiting in the shade for us.
It was in the 60s, but I was a little chilly with the wind. I was thankful for the heaters near some of the tables. There was a bar serving mimosas and beer, as well as a nice spread of breakfast food. I LOVE mimosas, so I was pumped.
Our view was awesome. We enjoyed drinking, eating, and listening to the music as we sat and relaxed.
After a little while, they started bringing out more trays. I thought maybe they had just run out of the breakfast food and were replenishing, but no, they were bringing out LUNCH! They put out pulled pork, dessert, and a few other things.
We were about an hour away from our hotel checkout time. Knowing the bus process could take a while, we reluctantly decided to head back.
The VIP shuttle was running every thirty minutes, so we met at the front of the tent at noon to be walked over. We were led out as a group by a staff member and didn’t have to wait in line like everyone else, as we had our own bus!
Overall, we really enjoyed the VIP experience. We thought it was worth the money, especially if you are running a chilly race, are a first timer, or are nervous about your race — or heck, if you just like comfort and relaxation…and food! I would recommend anyone running Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans to sign up quickly because it does sell out!