Education – The Tempo http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series Blog Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:44:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 All Your Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Questions: Answered http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/race-day-questions-answered/ Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:36:15 +0000 http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/?p=104368 Whether you’re a veteran marathoner or new to the running scene, preparing to run in a race can seem daunting....

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Whether you’re a veteran marathoner or new to the running scene, preparing to run in a race can seem daunting. Some may think you simply need to register and train for your race – but doing only that won’t truly prepare you for your upcoming race weekend! While training is extremely important for your physical preparedness, mental preparedness is required as well. If you’re preparing for your upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race, you must consider a number of factors to have the most epic weekend: registration, the course, the expo, pre-race, and post-race.

Sound like a lot to handle on top of all your other planning? Not to worry! Our race prep experts have all your Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series questions – and maybe even some questions you hadn’t thought of before – answered below:

Registration

How do I register?
  • Registration is available online (if not sold out) for any of our events by visiting our events page. Alternatively, you can contact us, and we will be happy to mail a form to you, if the event is not sold out. All registrations submitted by paper entry form will be charged a $15 Green Fee for processing. We do not accept phone entries.
  • You can also register to run for a charity.
Should I purchase race refund insurance?
  • Yes! Registration Protector gives participants the opportunity to fully insure their entry. If you can’t attend this event for any number of reasons, including covered injury, illness, traffic accidents and more, you’ll be reimbursed for your registration cost, fees, and other related costs. Just add it to your entry upon checkout! Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. For full coverage details, visit this page.
  • To file a claim, please contact Allianz Global Assistance at 1-888-497-6989 or visit them online.
  • To contact Allianz Global Assistance directly by email: eventservice@allianzassistance.com
  • Note: Purchase of registration refund MUST be done at the time of your original registration, no exceptions.
  • If a registration refund is not purchased at the time of registration, entry fees are NON-REFUNDABLE and entries are NON-TRANSFERABLE. Sorry, no exceptions. Once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate. You may not give or sell your number to anyone else. You also may not transfer your application to the following year or to another Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event.
How do I know if I am registered?

Please visit this page and select the event you are registered for. Once on the event home page select from “The Races” menu, “Confirm Entry”. You will be asked to input your first name, last name, and date of birth.

Please note: Final confirmation/information will be emailed to participants within two weeks before the event.

What do I do if my discount or promo code (Groupon) is not working?

If your discount code or Groupon code is not working for some reason, please contact us. Please note most discount codes are not valid for ancillary events (10K, 5K, 1 mile).

Do you offer military discounts?

Yes. We’re partnered with GovX.com to offer discounted race entries to U.S. military service members, law enforcement personnel, first responders and related government employees, along with their families.

How do I run for charity?

All of our events have partner charity fundraising programs. Please visit our charity page for more information.

What do I receive with my registration?

Each registered participant and finisher will receive the following:

  • Race bib, official timing device, technical t-shirt and swag bag (to be picked up at the Health & Fitness Expo)
  • Water, sports drink, and energy gel along the course
  • Water and refreshments at the start and finish lines
  • Cheer teams and entertainment stages with live bands from start to finish
  • Finisher’s medal after you cross the finish line
  • Post-race concert
  • Downloadable finisher’s certificate post-race
What do I do if I did not locate my confirmation?

There may have been a typo with your registration. Please make sure you enter your first name, last name, and date of birth exactly how you registered. If you still cannot locate your confirmation, please contact us.

What do I do if I cannot print my confirmation sheet?

If you are unable to print your confirmation sheet, there will be blank confirmation sheets at the Health & Fitness Expo that you can fill out. Confirmation sheets are mandatory in order to claim your race packet. Please bring photo identification as well.

How do I change my predicted finish time or move corrals after I've registered?

The process differs depending on the event deadline. Please check the deadline of your event on our Event Dates and Deadlines page to know how to proceed.

 

  • Before the event deadline:
    • Please contact us with your first name, last name, mailing address you registered with and new predicted finish time.
  • After the event deadline:
    • To move up to a faster corral, please pick up your race bib at the Health & Fitness Expo and then proceed to the “Corral Changes” table in the check-in area to be re-assigned to the appropriate corral. To move back to a slower corral, simply start in that corral on race morning. No official corral change is necessary.
How do I switch from a longer distance to a shorter distance?

Race changes are only allowed up to eight weeks prior to race day. Please check the deadline of your event on our Event Dates and Deadlines page to know how to proceed. Please note: We do not offer registration transfers from individual distances to the relay or from the relay to the individual distances.

  • Before the event deadline: Please fill out the form on this page and include your first name, last name, the mailing address you registered with and new predicted finish time.
  • After the event deadline: Simply show up to the start line of the desired distance on race morning and your timing tag will reflect the change. You can visit the “Corral Changes” table in the check-in area of the Health & Fitness Expo for information on the appropriate corral to start in.
How do I switch from a shorter distance to a longer distance?

Race changes are only allowed up to eight weeks prior to race day. Please check the deadline of your event on our Event Dates and Deadlines page to know how to proceed. Please note: We do not offer registration transfers from individual distances to the relay or from the relay to the individual distances.

  • Before the event deadline: Please fill out the form on this page and include your first name, last name, the mailing address you registered with and new predicted finish time. The early upgrade fee is $10 plus the cost difference between the desired distance’s current fee and the fee that was paid at the time of the original registration. (The processing fee is not used in calculating the price difference.)
  • After the event deadline: You will need to pay an upgrade fee at the Health & Fitness Expo. Please pick up your race bib and proceed to the “Solutions” table. You will be charged $10 plus the cost difference between the desired distance’s Expo fee and the fee that was paid at the time of the original registration. (The processing fee is not used in calculating the price difference.)
What is the 'Remix Challenge'?

Two races, one epic weekend! Please visit this page to learn more about the Remix Challenge.

What is Registration Protector?

Registration Protector offers you peace of mind when you register for an event by insuring you against covered circumstances. Please visit this page.

What do I do if I cannot participate once I have registered?

Unless you purchased Registration Protector, all registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable. Once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund. If you cannot participate, you may not give or sell your number to anyone else, and entry fees will not be transferred from year to year.

How can my band play at an event?

We’re always looking for new talent! Please visit this page.

Course

Is there a course time limit?

Yes. Please visit the Event Dates and Deadlines page to view the official course time limit for your event.

Is the course walker friendly?

Most Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series courses are walker friendly. We ask that all participants train in an effort to complete the course within the course time limit.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

Yes. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in the marathon and 12 years old to participate in the half marathon. You must be at least 10 years old to compete in the 10K and 8 years old to participate in the 5K distance.

*International events may have different standards.

Can my child participate?

Please visit this page to see which of our events feature KiDS ROCK, a one-mile fun run.

Are bikes, dogs, rollerblades, skateboards or strollers allowed on the course?

No. None of the above are allowed on any part of the course. This is for everyone’s safety!

Is there a wheelchair division?

Yes, in select markets. Please select that you will be participating in a wheelchair during the registration process and we will contact you prior to the event with instructions for race day. We abide by the IPC Athletics Rules.

Are there pace groups?

Yes. Pace groups are free and open to all participants. Please visit the Pace Team booth at the Health & Fitness Expo for more information.

Are porta-potties located along the course?

Yes. Porta-potties are located at the start and finish lines, as well as approximately every 2 miles along the course.

Will hydration or nutrition be available on the course?

Yes. Although the specific locations of stops differs by event. There are hydration stops along the course – every stop has water, and every other stop has Gatorade Endurance Formula in Lemon-Lime flavor. There is nutrition at some stops along the course.

What is the total elevation gain of the course?

Please visit the Course page of your event website to view the elevation chart.

What do the different map icons mean?

Each course’s map will either have a number icon, which indicates the mile marker, or a guitar icon, which indicates a band stage. Take a look at the map pre-race to get an idea of what area of town you’ll be passing through and have a general idea of what to expect once on the course.

Here’s a look at the different icons and what each means.

race day map icons

Is this event a Boston Marathon qualifying course?

All Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons are USATF certified courses and a “qualifier” for the Boston Marathon.

What if the distance shown on my GPS device is more than the official race distance?

This discrepancy means you weren’t cutting corners – quite literally. According to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) course measurement guidelines (pg. 20), a road race course is defined by the shortest possible route a runner could take without being disqualified. For most races, a certified measurer rides the course on a bike, staying near the curb and taking every available tangent. This process ensures that all runners will run at least the declared race distance. After the race, if the GPS device shows that you ran a little farther, this just accounts for extra steps you took to run around other participants, hit a water stop, or stay to the middle or outside lane. Check out this infographic for more information.

How can I report race bandits?

Please contact us.

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Expo

Can anyone attend the Health & Fitness Expo?

Yes. If you’re traveling with guests who are not participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll race, they can still peruse the vendor tables and be part of the excitement leading up to the big day.

How can my brand be a vendor at the Health & Fitness Expo?

Please visit this page.

What should I expect at the Health & Fitness Expo?

A visit to the Expo is a must; not only because it’s where you’ll pick up your race packet and t-shirt, but also because it’s where you can stock up on swag for your race weekend. Vendors will provide free samples and have running apparel and gear for purchase. Plus, it’s a great place to mingle with your fellow runners and get excited for your race.

What do I need to bring to pick up my race packet?

You must provide a photo ID and registration confirmation to pick up your bib and packet. Unfortunately, no one else can pick this up for you, even if they are also running the race.* Forget your confirmation sheet? Blank copies are always available at the Expo, so feel free to grab one and fill it out.
*In certain locations, you can pick up your packet plus one additional packet at no extra cost. Please check with your specific destination for allowances.

Can someone else pick up my race packet for me?

At most events, we do not allow race packet pickup on behalf of others. In select locations, you can pick up your race packet plus one additional race packet at no extra cost. Please check with your specific destination for allowances.

Can I pick up my child's race packet?

Yes, a parent/guardian may pick up a minor’s (younger than 18 years of age) packet as long as the parent/guardian brings the signed confirmation sheet to the Health & Fitness Expo.

Can I still register at the Health & Fitness Expo?

If the distance is not sold out, you may register.

Can I move corrals at the Health & Fitness Expo?

Yes. To move up to a faster corral, please pick up your race bib and then proceed to the “Corral Change” table in the check-in area to be re-assigned to the appropriate corral. To move back to a slower corral, simply start in that corral on race morning. No official corral change is necessary.

Do we receive a cotton or technical t-shirt?

Technical.

How do I purchase official event merchandise?
Can I register for next year's event at the Health & Fitness Expo?

If presale* is open, you may register online at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series booth. An online registration includes the registration fee plus our normal processing fee.

*Presale is registration for the following year’s event. The price is the best price of the year, and limited quantities are available.

 

Pre-Race

How do I pack for a race?

We’ve put together a list of basics you should bring with you to your Rock ‘n’ Roll race. This includes your running gear, of course, but also snacks, and anything else that will help you do your best. Check out our How to Pack for a Race blog post.

Do I need to bring my own bib pins?

No. Pins will be provided for all participants, which means one less item for you to remember to pack.

What else should I know about my race bib?

Please note the following sections of your race bib:

  • Race number
  • ChronoTrack Timing tag
    • Attached to the front of the bib, this tag has instructions on how to fasten it to your shoe.
  • Corral number
  • T-shirt size
  • Marathon finisher jacket size (only for runners completing the marathon distance)
  • Gear tag
    • Attached to the bottom of the bib, this tag is for checking your gear and can be torn off.
  • Beer garden tag
    • Attached to the bottom of the bib, this tag is redeemable for a complimentary Michelob ULTRA post-race if you are 21+.
  • Medical information
    • This information is printed on the back of the bib.
Do I have to wear my race bib in a certain place?

Wear your race bib on the front so that the number is clearly visible. Do not cover. Race bibs are required to be worn at all times during the race.

What is the official timing device?
  • The state-of-the-art ChronoTrack systems are used to record participants’ times at the start, on the course and at the finish. True race times will be recorded from start line to finish line.
  • The ChronoTrack system uses a disposable tag that allows you to walk away after the finish without the need to have your tag collected. Please visit their website for more information. The ChronoTrack Timing tag is located on the race bib and is labeled with a number that matches the race number. Please follow the instructions on the tag to place the timing device securely on your shoe.
  • When you pick up your race number at the Health & Fitness Expo, please check that your race has your correct name, sex, age and ChronoTrack Timing tag number. If any of the information is incorrect, please proceed to the Solutions table.
  • ChampionChip Timing will NOT be used at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series events. Your ChampionChip timing chips will not record your time.
Can I run with headphones and a music device?

While we do not prohibit the use of headphones or music devices, we suggest you run without them to optimize your race experience — that way, you can enjoy the cheer teams, live bands and spectators along the course.

Can I run with a hydration pack/vessel?

Yes!

How early should I show up before the race?

Although every runner is different, we recommend that you show up at least an hour before the official race start time to allow for time to check your gear bag, use the porta-potty and locate your corral.

How does gear check work?

Each event will have a Gear Check section where you drop off your belongings before your race begins and pick up once you’ve crossed the finish line. You’ll pick up your gear bag at the Health & Fitness Expo along with your race packet. Attach your gear tag to your bag when you leave it at the Gear Check station, so you’ll be able to claim it after (gear tags are located on the race bib). As a rule of thumb, leave all valuables, keys, money, etc. in your hotel room or in the hands of your friends and family.

How can my family members and friends track me?

Up to an hour before the earliest race begins, they can sign up to receive text message updates. Runner tracking is free compliments of Synchrony Financial. In addition, there is live tracking on the event website on race day.

 

Post-Race

What is a Secure Zone?

Runners will quickly learn there is a certain lingo linked to the Rock ‘n’ Roll races. For example, the “Secure Zone” is the short, fenced off area you enter after you cross the finish line. Here is where you’ll receive your finisher’s medal, water, refreshments, and it’s also where you’ll get your race photo taken. Note: once you leave the “Secure Zone”, there’s no re-entry. Also, the place is for you and your fellow participants only.

secure zone medals secure zone refreshments secure zone chocolate milk
What is the 'Finish Line Festival'?

The areas of the Finish Line Festival include:

  • Family Reunion
  • Gear Pick Up
  • Marathon finisher jacket table
  • Michelob ULTRA Beer Garden
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series booth
  • Where to pick up the Remix Challenge medal, Limited Edition medal or Heavy Medal
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series official merchandise
  • Post-race concert and headliner
  • Sponsors
  • Vendors
  • VIP
finish line festival concert finish line festival
Where is the best place to meet my family members and friends after the race?

Family Reunion* area, which has alphabetical flags

*The Family Reunion area is not available in some markets.

Where can I get a marathon finisher jacket?

Those who’ve made it the full 26.2 miles as a registered participant will receive an exclusive Rock ‘n’ Roll marathoner finisher jacket. Look for the special Marathon Jackets tent where you can pick up your bonus gift. Have your finisher medal and race bib ready to claim your jacket — you’ve definitely earned it! Not sure about your size? No worries! You can try them on at the Expo.

How do I get my Remix Challenge medal, Limited Edition medal or Heavy Medal?

Please visit the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series booth at the Finish Line Festival. If you completed the Remix Challenge, you should show your black wristband to receive the Remix Challenge medal.

Can I exchange my t-shirt or marathon finisher jacket for a different size?

While quantities last, yes. Please contact us.

What if I accidentally received a medal for the wrong distance or event?

Please contact us.

Is the post-race music festival free?

Yes. The finish line concerts are free and open to the public, which means your loved ones can help you celebrate a race well run. There are bands set up throughout the course to entertain not only the runners, but also spectators. After all, it’s not a Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon without music at every turn.

What beer is available at the Beer Garden in the Finish Line Festival?

Michelob ULTRA

What is the Finisher Zone?

Located within the Results page of the event website, the Finisher Zone is a results experience where you can look up your race times, see your run, view your race photos, collect finisher badges, download a finisher’s certificate and share your achievements! All finishers will be able to view and purchase their race photos and download their finisher’s certificate within 5-7 business days after the event.

What if my results are missing or inaccurate?

Please submit a results correction request and our timing company will look into your claim. Corrections will be updated on a weekly basis.

What do the up/down arrows mean in the live tracking results?

The up arrows represent the number of runners you passed, while the down arrows represent the number of runners who passed you.

How do I view my race photos?

All finishers will be able to view and purchase their photos in the Finisher Zone (in the Results page of the event website). Photos will be added in the hours and days following the event, but please allow 5-7 business days for all of the photos to be added.

What if I was tagged as the wrong person in my race photos?
Which distances receive age-group awards?

Age-group awards will be presented three-deep in all divisions, for both the marathon (where applicable) and half marathon, for male and female categories. (For the 5K, age-group awards are not presented, just awards for top three overall males and females.) Top three overall males and females are excluded from age-group awards and can only receive one prize. Awards will be mailed within 8 to 10 weeks of results being finalized. In accordance with USATF Rules, overall and cash awards will be determined by gun time, while age-group awards will be determined by your ChronoTrack time.

How do I receive my age-group award?

All age-group awards will be mailed to the top three finishers in each age group within 8-10 weeks after the event.

What if I lost something at the event?

Lost items that were found and turned in will be returned to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series office after the event. Please allow 1-2 weeks for transit time and inventory. Please call us at 1-800-311-1255 or email customer service to request your lost item. Please note: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

 

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How to Pack for Your Next Rock ‘n’ Roll Race http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/pack-next-rock-n-roll-race/ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:37:04 +0000 http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/?p=103630 When race time rolls around, the last thing you want to worry about is packing. Or, more specifically, overpacking. Although...

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When race time rolls around, the last thing you want to worry about is packing. Or, more specifically, overpacking. Although you may have tourist adventures on the horizon, the number one goal of this trip is to run your race. Once you have your marathon packing checklist created, you can refer to the same one for every Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race you get a bib for.

Here’s a rundown of what — and how — to pack for your next race.

Running Shoes

Not just any running shoes — you want to pack shoes you know won’t let you down. Pack the ones that are broken in and have the support you need to carry you the many miles of your running journey. Now isn’t the time to break out your new kicks, no matter how badly you want them to be part of the race. You’ll only end up in misery and pain — not to mention a lot of blisters.

If you have room, pack an extra pair of running shoes, flip flops or your dancing shoes for the post-race concert. Above all, keep in mind that comfort is key. To save space, put a few pairs of socks in each shoe. But if you plan on packing your old faithfuls, you just might have to put the socks into a plastic grocery bag first.

marathon packing

Running Clothes

What gear will make you the most comfortable? Lightweight material that helps wick away moisture can make the run better for you. If your race takes place in colder conditions, you will want to layer up without getting too bulky. Socks are key to a good run. Many runners like toe socks, the ones that look like gloves for your feet. They help your toes from rubbing against each other and keep them nice and dry. Toe socks are one of the most popular items Rock ‘n’ Roll marathoners get at the Health & Fitness Expo.

Also, consider wearing an old, long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt on race morning to stay warm after you’ve checked in your gear bag and before the race starts. You can just drop it off at a water station once you’ve warmed up, and it’ll be donated.

Costumes are also plentiful along a Rock ‘n’ Roll course. From Elvis costumes to colorful tutus, anything and everything goes; just make sure to do a test run in your outfit prior to race day to avoid chafing or potential wardrobe malfunctions.

If you are running out of room and must pack those dirty old race tees, try army rolling them to save a little space.

Running Accessories

Think about what you’ll wear during your race and what you’ll end up carrying with you. You don’t want to be weighed down by unnecessary items, but a few accessories seen most on runners are hats and sunglasses. They help with sun protection and let you focus on the course at hand without a distracting glare or the sun streaming directly into your face.

Don’t forget your earbuds, armbands, chafe cream and GPS trackers, especially if any are part of your regular running routine. As for items to aid in your post-race recovery, there are a few nice-to-haves that quickly turn to necessity in times of need. So play it safe and bring a collapsible or mini foam roller, hot/cold packs and any other items that might help you post race.

Nutrition

Make sure you have eaten a light meal a few hours before the race and are well hydrated.

For on-the-run hydration, some prefer to use a handheld water bottle. There are certain styles that even feature pockets for storing nutrition items. Just factor in the additional weight. If you plan on racing with handheld items or water belts, use them during training to avoid any unnecessary discomfort. There are water stations throughout each race course, but you want to make sure you have a few boosters along the way in case your energy begins to wane. Power gels are easy to grab and go; plus, you can eat them on the move. They’re not meant to be a meal replacement or to even satiate your appetite. Instead, save your hunger for your post-race celebration.

marathon packing

Free Space

Don’t forget to leave some wide-open space in your bag for Expo swag and souvenirs. And since the post-race packing process can get a little unorganized, factor in the possibility of losing some space.

marathon packing

Layer It In

If traveling by plane, try to pack your gear in a carry-on bag so that you don’t run the risk of losing your luggage for the race. But if you can’t fit everything into one suitcase, make sure your most important race items are with you on the plane.

Place your shoes in first, then clothes. Fit in any accessories and nutrition bars or gels in the pockets of your suitcase. The key here is: less is more. Pack what you’ll absolutely need for the race, and don’t stress too much about forgetting items.

Day-of race items — like travel-sized sunscreen, hair ties, Band-Aids or other smaller items — can be purchased once you get to the destination to conserve space and make for one less thing to remember to pack.

Capture the Spirit of the Race

Don’t forget to pack your action camera and bring your smartphone to the race to capture all the marathon moments. Although there will be bands and music playing at every mile, add the headlining band to your playlist to help you get into the groove when you’d rather use your earbuds.

marathon packing

If you still want to learn about what to pack from a pro, find out how to “rock your run” by picking up a copy of The Official Rock ‘n’ Roll Guide to Marathon & Half-Marathon Training: Tips, Tools, and Training to Get You from Sign-Up to Finish Line. It’ll give you an insider’s view of what to expect and how to prepare for the event.

What are your must-have items when running a Rock ‘n’ Roll event?

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What is the Remix Challenge? http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/what-is-the-remix-challenge/ Mon, 05 Jun 2017 12:49:53 +0000 http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/?p=104315 This weekend I completed my first Rock ’n’ Roll Remix Challenge in San Diego!   What is the Remix Challenge?...

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This weekend I completed my first Rock ’n’ Roll Remix Challenge in San Diego!  

What is the Remix Challenge?

The Remix Challenge is when you complete two days of running during a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event weekend. Any combination of distances qualifies for the Remix Challenge. You need to complete one event on Saturday and one event on Sunday during the same Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event weekend.  I chose to run the 5K distance on Saturday and the half marathon distance on Sunday.

This earns you a medal for each of the distances you run, plus a bonus medal for running both days of the event weekend!

How do I participate?

First, register for each distance. Make sure you use the same information for each registration (first and last name, date of birth, etc.). This is how they track if you’re running both days.

At packet pickup on Friday, you are given a specific wristband, which you wear on Sunday’s race to pick up your Remix Challenge medal after the race.

Run on Saturday…

Running the 5K on Saturday was lots of fun! The atmosphere was relaxed, and everyone was ready to have a good time. Although I told myself I would take it slowly, I couldn’t help but get carried away by all the excitement. I took off a little faster than I wanted to, but after the first mile or so, I slowed myself down and started to enjoy the sights of Balboa Park.

remix challenge remix challenge celebrate

Then run on Sunday!

The next day was a little less relaxed, as thousands of half marathon and marathon runners made their way to the starting line. But it was still a Rock ‘n’ Roll event, and the atmosphere was one of fun, if not a little more focus on the longer distances to be conquered that day. I know I was feeling nervous and excited, too! The half marathon course was a blast! Although my legs felt a little sluggish the first few miles, I found my groove and had a strong finish!

remix challenge sunday remix challenge remix challenge post race remix challenge cheese

Pick up your Remix Challenge medal!

If you’ve never run the Remix Challenge, I definitely suggest you try it at least once.  Not only do you leave the weekend with three awesome medals, it really makes it for a fun-filled running weekend. Plus, you get to doubly enjoy what the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon races are all about: fun, community, bling, music, and just an all-around good time!  

6 tips to get you ready to rock your first Remix Challenge weekend:

  1. Plan a few training runs where you run 2-3 miles one day and run a longer run the next day. This will prepare you for your back-to-back races and make you a stronger runner.
  2. Have fun during your 5K. Treat it like a shake-out run. Take selfies on course and don’t take yourself too seriously! You don’t want to burn out the day before your longer race on Sunday. OH and don’t forget to enjoy your free beer after the race!
  3. You’ll be tempted (like I was) to explore and take in the sights of the city, especially if it’s a city you’ve traveled to for the race. But you may want to take it easy the rest of the day on Saturday. You just ran 3.1 miles, and the next day you’re about to take on even more miles. Plan a great post-race breakfast and a little sightseeing, get yourself a yummy carb-loading dinner, but don’t forget to stretch and rest up!
  4. Give it your all on Sunday! You trained hard for weeks or months leading up to this day, and you are ready to rock it! Rock ‘n’ Roll races are meant to be fun, so be sure to enjoy and take in all the on-course entertainment! My favorites are always the spectators cheering us on and the funny signs along the way.  
  5. After the race, don’t forget to pick up your Remix Medal at the festival area. You’ve earned it! There’s a designated “Heavy Medal” tent at the Finish Line Festival. Show them your wristband and they’ll exchange it for your awesome remix medal!
  6. Enjoy the Finish Line Festival! This is one of my favorite parts of the Rock ‘n’ Roll races. The finish line party is always fun and full of energy. After running two races in one weekend, you deserve a good time. So grab your second free beer (don’t forget your ID), and take advantage of all the entertainment and the free concert!

remix challenge medals

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5 Tips to Survive Running in Rain http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/race-rain-5-tips-survive-marathon/ Fri, 19 May 2017 18:55:41 +0000 http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/?p=101631 Have you ever checked the weather forecast a few days before a race and cringed? Before the 2013 Rock ‘n’...

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Have you ever checked the weather forecast a few days before a race and cringed? Before the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville half marathon, I rarely checked the race-day weather. If it were raining, I would make sure I had a dark color shirt. In the south, rain in April through October is usually a welcome relief for us. However, after that fateful day in Nashville, I am now a fierce weather-checker.

That race was dubbed the “marathon monsoon” because we had rain, flooding, severe thunderstorm warnings and lightning. Rock ‘n’ Roll did everything they could to warn all of us about the weather. Their policy is “rain or shine,” and they stuck to that. We had weather emails, we had warnings at the Expo, we had more emails, and we had people on the course to direct us and keep us informed. We had it all, and I learned some valuable lessons that day.

Based on my experiences with rain at Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville, here are five tips to survive a marathon monsoon:

1. Chafing happens, and it hurts.

Running in pouring rain calls for serious wardrobe consideration. Things that normally do not chafe in regular weather will definitely chafe to the point of bleeding with wet clothing friction in rain. If you normally wear a cotton T-shirt, DO NOT DO IT! Cotton and rain are disastrous together. If you normally wear lightweight technical clothing, plan to wear more constricting technical clothing for downpours. Shorts ride up when they are wet — and that bunching can cause chafing in sensitive regions.

2. Wear a hat.

I usually wear a hat for every run and race anyway. That day in Nashville, I saw many people in misery with rain running down their faces. The headbands and skull caps were useless. Hats or visors with brims keep the rain off your face. Granted, there was a curtain of water falling off the brim, but it was out of my eyes.

3. Don’t skip the water stations.

After the race was over, my handheld water bottle was completely full. I stopped at two aid stations along the way — and NOT because I was trying to PR. I just didn’t feel thirsty. Completely soaked and sloshing through deep puddles, I can only assume that I didn’t feel the need to add more liquid to my body. When the rain is pouring, make yourself drink anyway.

4. Lube up.

If you currently do not need to use a water-resistant body lubricant for regular training or race days, please keep some handy for very rainy races. Even with careful clothing choices, it is a good idea to apply lubricant to places that MIGHT be a friction point. Rain makes clothing heavier. Waistbands might start moving with soaked clothing. Soaked sports bras might chafe at the band or under the arm. Feet blister in soaked socks. Do a clothing check for potential issues and lube up.

5. Watch the course.

Because Rock ‘n’ Roll is a huge race event, the course had amazing support. We had people keeping us updated with weather, and we knew when the weather warnings were issued and when they passed. Nashville traffic still had to maneuver around our course. In severe weather, not everyone is paying attention to runners. Be extremely vigilant. It is so easy to get into a mental zone when running, but during a race in inclement weather in a large city, a running zone could be disastrous.

That race day was full of great memories of being a kid again and splashing in puddles. I was fortunate to walk away without too many scrapes. However, I now make sure I do these five things for every race that might include a chance of rain. You want that post-race medal selfie to have your genuine smile, not the painful grimace of bad decisions in rainy race clothing. Happy Rainy Running!

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6 Reasons to Volunteer http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/6-reasons-volunteer/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 22:48:45 +0000 http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/?p=101437 Here are six reasons why you should consider supporting your running community and volunteer at a race near you! Stay connected...

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Here are six reasons why you should consider supporting your running community and volunteer at a race near you!

  1. Stay connected to running.

    If you’re recovering from injury, in between races or simply looking for a stepping stone into the running sphere, volunteering helps connect you to the sport. Share the enthusiasm and energy of race day without pinning on a race bib.

  2. Meet new people in your area.

    Want to make new friends? Find a new running buddy? Set an activity for your social group? Working together in a group with shared goals is bound to start a conversation or two. Even better, bring a friend of your own to expand everyone’s social circle.

    Volunteer

  3. Be the perfect fan.
    If you were thinking of spectating anyway, what could be better than spectating while supporting runners? You could be handing out water and hollering your favorite words of encouragement all at once.
  4. Get a new perspective.

    If you’ve ever run a race, you’ll know that there are lots of people working hard behind the scenes. Get a feel for how it is to be on the other side of the sidelines. You’ll have a new appreciation for the selfless efforts of volunteers and a greater understanding of the community that expands beyond those wearing the race bibs and timing tags.

    Volunteer

  5. Get motivated.

    There’s nothing like watching to inspire you to act! A race is full of emotional energy and motivational moments that will make you want to capture one for yourself. You’ll be signing up for your next race in no time!

    Volunteer

  6. Get volunteer perks.

    Apart from the high fives from runners and warm fuzzies you’ll get from doing good, when you volunteer at a Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series race, you’ll also get a free T-shirt, swag bag, free parking and refreshments.

To sign up as Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series Race Crew, please click here.

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Why You Should Use Water Stops on Race Day http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/use-water-stops-race-day/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 15:00:25 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=18851 For my first several long-distance races, I always wore a water belt or hydration pack. I was worried about losing...

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For my first several long-distance races, I always wore a water belt or hydration pack. I was worried about losing time going through water stops, which are often crowded, as well as getting enough liquid in me to stay steady throughout the course.

Then I decided I didn’t really feel like carrying a small backpack with me for 10-plus miles. I also figured that walking through the water stops would help me break up the race and be a small but nice change of pace.

Since then, I’ve left the hydration belt or backpack at home for races and only used it on training runs — when sadly there is no random table with water in cups set up every 1-2 miles.

Here are some reasons why you should use race water stops:

You won’t lose much, if any, time: Walking instead of running for 20 seconds won’t significantly impact your finish time. That’s because after your little break, you’ll find you speed up long enough to make up for any time lost at a walk. It’s not uncommon for me to now find that I pass a runner who didn’t stop at the water station shortly after I pick my pace back up.

You can take multiple cups to get enough: If a single water cup isn’t enough, you can easily take two and drink them quickly as you walk down the line. In fact, I recommend taking two cups during any summer long-distance race, and you may even want to double up during cooler times of the year.

It helps break up the race and give you a break: Knowing you have a little bit of a break every 1.5-2 miles will help you mentally as well as physically. You can easily break up a race course as just six water stations to go through. That gives you something to easily focus on without overwhelming you.

Having less of a load will feel great: It’s easy to forget most decent water belts and hydration backpacks are there, but you’re still carrying around an extra piece of equipment. During hot races, that’s sure to not feel as great, and it could slow you down.

There’ll be no chafing or bouncing concerns: Beyond the speed factor are those of chafing and bouncing. It’s hard to find a water belt that doesn’t have at least some bounce. And even if you’ve finished several successful runs without chafing, the extra push race day brings can cause issues you weren’t expecting.

For more from Katharine Lackey, visit Kat Runs D.C.

(Featured image credit: Flickr, KimrayPics)

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5 Ways to Make Your Running Fantasy a Reality http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/5-ways-make-running-fantasy-reality/ Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:10:52 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=5382 They say that experience brings wisdom. That’s certainly true of running. When I look back to my younger running self,...

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They say that experience brings wisdom. That’s certainly true of running. When I look back to my younger running self, I remember all of the doubts and fears I had of even trying to run. I remember watching runners, who were calm and carefree, cruise down streets and trails with ease. They looked graceful and athletic. I didn’t think of myself as possessing either quality. Yet, these runners fascinated me. I felt a twinge of jealousy. How could I compete with their mileage? I knew that there was no way I would ever be that fast.

Finally, I asked myself another question. What if I tried? I knew that I wanted to give the sport a test run, so to speak. Maybe I’d learn that I loved it. Maybe I would hate it. I’d never know if I didn’t lace up those shoes and hit the road with a training plan in place. The rest, as they say, is history.

It comes as no surprise that I wish I had started my running career earlier in life. So, to my younger running self or a new runner, here is some advice.

  1. Start earlier.

    What kind of runner could you have been? Maybe you would have been able to run longer distances at faster paces. There definitely would have been more races and additional bling! Encourage your non-running friends to start ASAP!

  2. Don’t be intimidated.

    There will be runners with better form, but there will also be runners who need guidance. There will be faster runners and runners with a slower pace. None of that matters. Only compete with yourself. Stop worrying about what others may think. It’s your run.

  3. Ask the experts.

    This sport is full of people with compassion and kindness. Runners genuinely want to help others reach their goals. The faster runners are happy to share training techniques with beginners. There are no dumb questions. You don’t get this type of support in every sport, so take advantage of it. Watch and listen. Learn from others and share any bits of knowledge gained along the way.

  4. Run a race.

    Even if you have to walk most of your first 5K, register and go for it. There’s nothing like the wave of enthusiasm you will experience at a race. It can be surprising and even overwhelming to hear the cheers of encouragement shouted from spectators and volunteers. Talk about a great incentive to continue your training!

  5. Just do it.

    Make running a priority in your life. Train yourself to be the best that you can be physically, but remember that it is also about mental endurance. Want it! Own it! Put everything you have into it! This is about health, fitness, and overall happiness. Set running goals and make a plan to achieve them, even if it means working with a running group, a coach, or a friend who laces up her shoes along with you.

Hindsight is 20/20. While I really wish my younger running self had put those shoes to the pavement, we should all remember that it’s never too late to start!

What advice would you give to your younger self or a new runner?

Image credit: iStockphoto

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Take the Stress Out of Running http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/training/running-no-stress/ Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:53:40 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=13534 Burned out. Lost your mojo. Fallen off the wagon. We’ve all been there. Sometimes running seems more of a burden...

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Burned out. Lost your mojo. Fallen off the wagon. We’ve all been there. Sometimes running seems more of a burden then the enjoyable activity we all love. Maybe we forget why we’re even doing it, or it sounds like the absolute last thing we possibly want to do. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, here are some suggestions to change your perspective and get back in the game:

  1. Go tech-free

    Sometimes all you need to take the edge off your training schedule is to have a tech-free run — a run where you’re not constantly worried about meeting your goals of pace, distance or time. Get back to the basics and remember why you even started this crazy journey in the first place.

  2. Take a break from running

    I felt blasphemous just typing that, but sometimes you need a break from the grind of running. Try cross-training a bit and you’ll quickly remember how much you enjoy running. This can also help give your body a break from any wear and tear running can cause, so you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back out there.

  3. Change it up

    Explore a new route, take it to the trails, anything to switch up your normal routine and put the wonder back into it. I highly suggest getting outside. You could also make a new playlist to revive your workout. I know I tend to stick with the same list run after run until I find I’m skipping all the songs I’ve heard them so many times. A new playlist can make an old route seem new!

  4. Make it a scavenger hunt

    I participated in a scavenger hunt running challenge this past summer with a few friends. Not only did it take my mind off the run, but made it super fun to see what I could find. Also, it added a level of competition — and if you’re anything like me, you won’t want to lose.

  5. Have a run buddy

    I’m the first to admit I’d rather run by myself. Call me a humbug if you will, but I just prefer the solitude running gives me. However, the quickest way to de-stress is laughter, and who better to do that with than with a great friend? This will also force you to slow down and enjoy the run as you carry on a conversation with your buddy. This isn’t a “let’s push each other” run buddy, this is a decompressing run buddy. Choose wisely.

  6. Find a fun race

    Themed races are all the rage right now in the running community. Pick your poison — hot chocolate, colored dust, mud, the world is your oyster! Unless you’re a Spartan warrior and are in it for the winning rather than the adventure, might I suggest an obstacle course? Be a big kid and play! This simple act can instantly put the fun back in your run.

Whether you decide to ditch the gadgets, get blasted by paint or take to the trails, simply remembering why you fell in love with running in the first place can take the stress out. So now it’s your turn! Which of these are you going to try? Or better yet, how do YOU take the stress out of running?

 

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Why Do A Half Marathon? Here Are 6 Reasons To Run! http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/half-marathon-6-reasons-run/ Sat, 25 Feb 2017 09:00:50 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=6201   It’s a solid challenge. Training for a half marathon takes a significant amount of time and commitment. It’s not easy...

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  1. It’s a solid challenge.

    Training for a half marathon takes a significant amount of time and commitment. It’s not easy to just whip out a half marathon on little to no training, without getting injured of course. It’s a solid, BIG goal to train for, and that kind of training plan can keep you focused for many weeks.

  2. It’s manageable.

    It may be a solid challenge, but it is manageable. It is doable. You can do it. YOU can run a half marathon with training and dedication.

  3. It doesn’t take over your life.

    Half marathon training doesn’t take over your life as much as full marathon training. It’s manageable to fit into your schedule, especially if you’re a busy mom like me. I ran my last marathon in 2007 when I had only one child. When I had #2 (and then #3), I decided to stick to half marathons so that my training didn’t require so much time away from my kids.

  4. It’s a good test of your endurance.

    If you’re considering a full marathon or another endurance activity, managing the feeling of pushing past your limits during a half marathon can be a good test for you in those hours out on the race course.

  5. It’s a good way to practice your fueling and race strategy for a full marathon.

    If you’re training for a full marathon, running a half marathon as part of your training is a great way to practice race-day fueling and your attire. Did that gel work for you after running for an hour and a half, or did it cause stomach distress? Can you handle coffee on race morning? Is any part of your outfit chaffing? These are good ways to test things out for a full marathon. If you have no intention of ever running a full marathon, move on to #6. Nothing to see here, people…

  6. The atmosphere.

    Hands down, the reason I love to run half marathons is the atmosphere. From the super fast, elite runners to the newbies, everyone is there for the same thing. They are there to run this awesome distance, to challenge themselves, to push themselves, and to enjoy it. You can follow Cynthia’s adventures at Yousignedupforwhat.com

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Video: Why Are Specialty Running Stores So Special? http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/education/video-specialty-running-stores-special/ Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:05:03 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=9425 What makes specialty running stores so special? I sought out the advice of Charlotte and Dave, two shop owners, to...

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What makes specialty running stores so special? I sought out the advice of Charlotte and Dave, two shop owners, to find out. One of the first questions I asked was, “What is the drive to running a store when it’s so tough to stay in business?” Their answers were unanimous: passion, which is something that runners know quite a lot about. Both Charlotte and Dave are runners and have knowledge of shoes and running attire that you probably won’t find at the big chain sporting goods stores.

Here are several things that set the small specialty stores apart from the big boys:

  • Aside from buying your shoes from actual runners, you get the benefit of being properly fitted in a shoe suited for your running style. There are also brands of shoes at specialty running stores that you won’t find in the bigger stores.
  • Running specialty stores face stiff competition from both Internet sales and bigger stores. They rely on excellent customer service and word-of-mouth advertising.
  • These stores are also a valuable resource for race information in your area. Many of them carry brochures for coaching, personal training, chiropractors and therapeutic massage.
  • The chain megastore might offer three or four brands with a few models for each brand. I get weak in the knees when I see eight different brands and six or seven models per brand at specialty running stores.
  • Runners love “stuff” like watches, sunglasses, compression socks, arm bands, hats, and all kinds of attire for any season, which are readily available at these shops.
  • Small running stores are active in their communities, offering race sponsorships and hosting fun runs. These fun runs are often attended by vendors who will actually let you wear attire or test drive the latest shoe. How great is running in a new pair of shoes while under no pressure to buy them?

I consider myself lucky to have spent time at specialty running stores like Marathon Sports and Charles River Running, both in Massachusetts. Do you have a favorite running store? Do they suit your needs, and do you send business their way? Have you participated in their fun runs? Check out your local store; they do a lot for the running community. Let’s do our part and support them.

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