Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon race report

Up before the sun to run Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia. The weather forecast was for 40 degrees and clear at the start. Well, they were close...

I walked the mile or so from my hotel to the start village, stopping in at the VIP area (thanks Brooks!) to grab some Gatorade and a bagel. I also noted, happily, that mimosas are back!! So I had that to look forward to after I finished. 

I went out to my corral... So far back that I couldn't see the start. I was a little surprised to see the time -- and to hear the national anthem -- but of course I still had 30 minutes to wait!

not sure where the start is...

It was really cold in the corrals -- I was very glad to have brought my Mylar from RnRVan with me. But eventually we were on deck. That said, the main announced left to go to the finish line before we even started, since the elites would potentially finish before the last corral started!

ahhh, THERE it is!!!

When it was our turn, it was a real pleasure to run on Philadelphia's wide boulevards -- we ran up Benjamin Franklin Parkway and around Logan Circle, then a little loop around downtown (was there something I should have "seen" there?), and then a big swinging loop around City Hall. We turned back toward the art museum, passing "Love Park" and Philly's iconic artwork before heading up Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the opposite direction. Philadelphia has such lovely, wide boulevards to run on!

2015 Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon course map

I was really surprised that, at the 3-mile mark, there were still people starting. But 35 corrals is a lot of corrals. And at 18,500 people registered, it's no surprise!

We passed the main stage, where the Gin Blossoms would perform later, and heard a great cover of "I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll All Night" ... which of course madee think "and part of every day..."

We had one more "spur" out and back before passing the art museum and heading out on the Shuykill River ... Or the road next to it, anyway. This was really beautiful -- mainly flat, lovely wide roads, and pretty views of the river and of the autumn leaves. Leaf peepin' while running a half marathon? Oh yes please. 

No crowding here!

This really was bliss to run on. 

Because Brooks had made a pretty drawing of the course, I knew that we would cross the river at Falls Bridge at mile 9. So getting on to the bridge was awesome - only 4.1 to go!!!

view downstream from the bridge

view back to downtown from the bridge
The road back to downtown was equally pretty, though the only thing I took a picture of was this guy. I can't tell ou how much I enjoy seeing The Dude at races! I didn't know he was going to be on the course, so it was a pleasant surprise. 

the Brooks Dude

I was feeling pretty tired by mile 12, but I had pretty much maintained my 100:25 intervals. Seeing this in the distance helped perk me up a bit!

the backside of the Art Museum -- where the finish line is
I had been planning on one last walk break so that I could finish strong, but the last half mile was suddenly very narrow and totally thronged with cheering spectators and I just couldn't. So I slotted in behind a hand-holding couple to pace myself, followed them up the last cruel little hill, and then slingshotted past them in the final stretch.

The crowd in the chute were too quiet, so I encouraged some whooping, high-fived the announcer (let's be clear, he's no John Bingham!), and crossed the line in 2:22:43. 

It was a bit rough getting through the finish gauntlet, but eventually got my medal, some chocolate milk, and made my way back to the VIP tent for a little breakfast and a couple of mimosas. Perfect. 

the finish line, as seen from the VIP area

the Art Museum and the Rocky Steps
Nope, I didn't go back and run the Rocky Steps!

Decided against watching much of the Gin Blossoms because I had gotten cold and was thinking about having a nice hot bath. So I made my way back to the hotel, stopping to visit the spitting tortoises. 

This race was fun, and the course was pretty. There wasn't a ton of support, but the people out there were super loud and enthusiastic. Best sign: "ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10, YOU'RE A 13.1"

thank you Philly!

Most importantly, of course... This is STATE #34!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great race, I think this will go on my list of races to do. I was wondering if the end of the race was up the Rocky steps. :)