There are plenty moments in life where words fall short of explaining the atmosphere, energy, and total experience; race weekend is one of those instances.
When you go back to your daily routine the Monday after Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh race weekend presented by WRAL, you’ll likely draw a blank at least once when trying to paint the picture for friends and family back home.
So, enter the Race Weekend Story: as Told through Instagram. It’s just a taste of the views, quirky neighbors, and Southern charms you can expect April 7-8, 2018. Remember it when you’re motivation to train is running low or as a recruiting tool to get others to join you in the biggest running festival to hit North Carolina.
North Carolina is a state of Southern hospitality, but Raleigh takes the cake. Stay a little or stay a while, but expect to be treated just like kin. Smiling faces; holding the door; please and thank you; waving to total strangers. Nice is simply what they do. The city rolls out the red carpet, from cute balloon runners greeting folks in the lobby, to banners welcoming Rock Stars as your tour the streets.
A 13.1 or 3.1-mile route through Raleigh will reveal some hidden and some renowned gems. The half marathon begins on Fayetteville Street, one of the city’s many historic districts, and showcases the Capitol Square, State Supreme Court, and Haywood Hall (the oldest house in Raleigh!).
You’ll encounter Greek Revival public buildings and preserved century old historic homes in a Cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Southern Food Galore
As the South’s Most Underrated Food City, many people are missing out on the foodie adventures available in the city. Raleigh recently made the list of USA Today’s 5 most underrated food cities, shining a long overdue spotlight on a restaurant scene that total 1,300-plus restaurants and growing. Look to Raleigh for a culinary adventure that will leave your belly and your wallet full.
Views Worth the Climb
The Carolinas are known for their rolling hills, but it’s not without some rewards. The half marathon course features its fair share of inclines, but here’s the good news: those hills make for some of the best views in the entire Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. Walk them or run them; just remember to look back on where you came from and enjoy the view at the top before continuing on.
History Up Close
Both the Saturday and Sunday distances begin and end historic neighborhoods. Sunday participants begin their journey at the intersection of Fayetteville & Davie Street, the heart of the historic downtown Capital Area district. Within a few short steps one can find the Old Capitol building, the N.C. Legislature Building, State Supreme Court and Haywood Hall, the oldest house in Raleigh.
The Saturday 5K takes place in Dorthea Dix Park. Today if features over 300 acres of sprawling green knolls, Oak-lined paths and one of the best views of the downtown skyline. It once housed Dorthea Dix Hospital, one of the nation’s first facilities that lead the way in reforming care and treatment of the mentally ill.
Pro Tip: No Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh race weekend is complete without a pre or post-race photo in front of the Sir Walter Raleigh statue.
Epic on Course Support
As mentioned earlier, Raleigh is known for rolling out the red carpet of Southern hospitality. That hospitality spills over into cheer teams, bands on course, aid stations and on course signs. You never know what you might get on course. One annual favorite is the Shaw University drum line that performs on a bridge overhead as runners jam out and rock below.
Other favorites? The sombrero donning T-Rex accompanied by a political quip, bacon, Japanese drummers and homegrown running outfitters that pay it forward by cheering on participants and manning water stations.
This is just a glimpse of what one can expect to encounter on the pavement and on the course April 7-8, 2018 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon & 5K presented by WRAL.
Remember, sometimes pictures and words aren’t enough to capture the epic race weekend experience. Don’t take our word on how awesome Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh is; meet us in April and experience it for yourself!