General Intro & Final Race Info
Happy Friday everyone! I hope this post finds you well. Race weekend is almost here! Congratulations to everyone who's made it this far and running next weekend! This is a lot of info and it is SUPPLEMENTAL to the information provided by the Race (see more below)
You've spent boatload of weeks training, logging hundreds of miles running . . Spend the next 10-15 minutes reading it . . and also check out the links and attachments ;)
This is our “Race Information Summary” which consists of the most frequently asked questions over the last 6+ years of doing this. It’s the good stuff, but it is also SUPPLEMENTAL to the information provided by the Race (see more below)
Final Race Info
A portion of this may have been reviewed during the last group run or two. In general, there is a TON of info on the race website linked below.
Much of this stuff comes directly from the race website and their official Race Information Sheet that is emailed out and also available on the site:
Main Website: http://www.runrocknroll.com/
If you haven’t already, confirm your entry now. True story . . . A few years ago, one of our runners for the Rock n Roll Marathon one year failed to do so and found out on Saturday afternoon at the expo that she was never confirmed. In a nutshell, it was a mess.
Expo & Bib Pickup
It’s generally a great idea to get to the expo on Friday. This will allow you to 1) Beat the Crowds and 2) Rest more on Saturday.
**This was new 2 years ago and they seem to be sticking to it** From the Race Info: YOU MUST PICK UP YOUR OWN RACE PACKET AND RACE NUMBER AT THE EXPO PRIOR TO THE RACE. NO EXCEPTIONS.
So unless you had your Bib mailed to you in advance you MUST pick up your registration Friday (11a-7p) or Saturday (9a-5p). Enjoy your time at the expo, it's HUGE and a big spectacle/production! It’s inside the convention center and will be crowded. NOTE: Check to see if there is a Padres game as well - that may make it extra crowded. Plan on time for parking, walking, etc. Even more so if you go Saturday. http://runrocknroll.
Changing Races / Corrals
With Wave Starts, you’ll be placed into a specific corral. They do it more for crowd control at the start, and to generally put runners of similar pace together. Keep in mind that most races (I’ve never seen or heard of one yet) do not enforce the corral starting point (unless you’re in the lead/elite pack of course) so while you’re encouraged to change it in advance, you certainly don’t’ have to. Just start wherever you’d like (except up front ;) but keep in mind that you may be in the company of much faster or much slower runners than you - which can benefit or deter from your performance or experience.
Rock n Roll allows you to change race (half vs. full marathon) and/or Corrals. There are different stipulations depending on What you’re changing, and When you’re changing it. Best to check them out here:
Race Weekend Pasta Dinner! As you’ve should have heard or seen by now, the annual Rock n Roll Race Weekend Pasta Dinner is taking shape. The idea is for you to get your bib/entry from the RnR Expo Friday afternoon, then walk back over to the complex. We'll drink, eat, drink some more (carby rich beer, of course) and enjoy a little presentation and present some awards.
What: Pasta Feast + Friends
Date: Friday, 6/1/2018
Time: Doors Open at 6:15pm / Dinner at 7:15pm
Where: Form 15 (Appartment Building) 1450 Market St San Diego, CA 92101
Again, you must pre-register. See you there!
Training - How Much to Run? (Final Week)
You will receive (if not already) a “Race Taper” info post. The most frequent question asked is how much and when to run during the final week:
During the final week leading into Race Day, you should have a good, easy run on Tuesday. If you don’t get out again on Thursday, you should plan to run Friday an easy 3-4 miles at most... And VERY EASY. You WILL NOT get any training benefit by doing anything other than a very easy jog. It's more to keep your body loose, stretched out, and things flowin’.
And if you don’t get out on Friday, plan on doing A VERY EASY jog for 15-25min. You will not “tire out” by running a mile or two, followed by a good stretch routine.
Nutrition, Food & Hydration
Eat hearty during last few days, but DO NOT eat a huge meal after 7pm Saturday night before the race - plan to eat big early. Then a snack before bed. Most of you should plan on eating a small meal, or a small snack at least, VERY FIRST thing when you wake up on Sunday. Don't wait too long, however to eat. Should have at least 90-120 minutes to digest most solid meals. Snacks and liquid supplements can be taken closer to race time.
Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate. Do NOT wait until Saturday evening to start drinking more fluids. It actually started days ago. You should not wait until Sunday morning to put down an extra Gatorade for breakfast - it’s actually not very effective by that late in the game. Start hydrating now, if not 2 days ago. Drink lots of water and supplement with things like Amino Vital, Gatorade or other sports drink, preferably ones with lots of electrolytes, etc.
Speaking of eating . . . every meal is important, but no meal is more important than the one before a race. Eating the right pre-race meal at the right time ensures that all your hard training doesn't go to waste. Check out these guidelines on which foods are best to eat before a big race:
Nothing New Food-wise!
DON'T do or eat or drink or wear anything new, or that you're not used to. One of the reasons for the Saturday long runs is to practice and get used to "race conditions" . . . what to eat/when, drink/when, how much coffee should I drink. Should I get on the pot before I leave the house, or wait for a blue toilet? DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.
There is always a direct link between nutrition, hydration and medical. The Rock n Roll Race website has a decent overview section on Medial and Hydration.
DO NOT however, overcompensate and over hydrate. This can have just as serious effects. Simply reflect back to our long runs, some of which were toasty, and adjust accordingly. **KEEP IN MIND that this some of the information in the above links is specific to the RnR marathon.
Getting to the Race & Parking
Half the battle with race day has nothing to do with running. It’s UPS’s tagline - “Logistics”. There are many different way to get to the race. The best thing to do is to simply follow the recommendations from the race and they have an entire section on their website dedicated to transportaion and logistics.
Get dropped off in Hillcrest. (Anytime before 5:30a)
Park & Ride Trolley from Qualcomm - $5 round trip.
Park Near Finish Area and Walk (~$15)
Park & Walk - pre-paid parking passes available online or at expo only - https://shop.runrocknroll.com/
Take Coaster (N. County Coastal Residents)
Take an Uber or Lyft from downtown (Walk only if you have to)
Park in Hillcrest / Balboa Park, get ride back to your car. Least recommended, but easily doable if you can get back here after race.
- NEW Option: Park anywhere near the Balboa Park area and take a Lime or BIRD Scooter. I am going to recommend not taking a Lime Bike or Ofo Bike as we want to keep your legs fresh for the race.
There are no shuttles back up to Balboa park area after the race, so if you park up there, you'll be on your own to get back up.
PLAN TO GET TO BALBOA PARK EARLY! Keep in mind that I-5, 163 and all major roads going into Balboa Park/Hillcrest area will be jam packed by 5:15 am!!!! If you know any back ways into Balboa Park / Hillcrest, it's best to take them:
Texas street to University up from Mission valley, or up 5/6th avenue from downtown area.
805 or 15 to El Cajon Blvd, West. Left on Park Blvd, rt on University, left on 5th right into Hillcrest to drop off or parking.
Meeting Area, Time & Group Picture
We do the same every race . . we designate a spot to meet up. Begin meeting up approx ~1-1.5 hours before race time. We then take a Family Picture EXACTLY 30min before race time, then you’re off on your own to use the porta pottys, change, drop your bags, etc. We do NOT do any formal warm-up, etc.
We will have one big group picture at 5:45am SHARP.
We will be meeting in the Southern portion of the park area (South of El Prado (Laurel)) near the big tree at the concrete bench, on the South side "Kate Sessions" statue. It won't be hard to find us. But still remember, there are 20,000+ runners + Spectators + Staff all in the same corner in the park.
Interactive Map: http://goo.gl/maps/1vRAJ
<5:00a Plan to arrive into Balboa Park, use portapotties
5:45a Group Picture*
5:50a On your own: Drop gear at UPS, use portapotties, etc. Half Marathoners can linger a bit longer.
6:10a Enter corrals (Full Marathon)
6:15a Race Start (Both Half & Full)
*AGAIN, We'll be taking a GROUP PICTURE at 5:45am SHARP.
Bag Drop & Gear Check
Most races include a “Bag Drop” area and operate the same way. Sorry, we won’t have the Key or Clothing Tubs to hang onto your keys.
RnR has one of the best Bag Drop systems around. It’s managed by UPS where you can leave behind your goodie bag and it will be waiting for you at the finish. The gear check bag you receive at the Expo when picking up your entry will serve as your Bag Drop Bag on Sunday morning. Plan on bringing it with you Sunday morning. You can stash just about whatever you want/need in the bags. They always say never to leave valuables – however aside from one of our runners, I have not heard of many horror stories and I personally have left a key, cell phone or even a wad of cash in the bag. Do so at your own risk.
**YES, You do need your ID for the beer garden**
Keep an eye on the weekend weather. Here are some links and general notes:
Winter & Spring Mornings are typically cloudy / overcast, even if sunny day.
Summer & Fall mornings are typically full-on sun, assuming it’s a sunny day
Coastal Races (Carlsbad, La Jolla, etc.) typically experience more humidity in the earlier hours.
Sunshine is just as brutal as Heat. Wear protection (Sunscreen, Hat/Visor, Etc.)
Dress as if it were 10-20 deg Warmer than it actually is (everyone will vary)
Most races allow you to strip & dump clothing on the course. Wear long sleeves/junk mittens/gloves if cold and dump them.
Specific Race Information, Course & Maps
There is a TON of info on the race website noted earlier.
Everything we’ve reviewed over the last week and a half including what is found in this post has been taken from the race website and from years of experience. There is information for both runners and spectators. Keep in mind that while we do our best in learning, gathering and communicating all of the info, things change every year.
Live Tracking & Results
RnR has a great Runner Tracking setup. Runner Tracking technology lets your friends, family and fans know your progress on race day. Convenient texts keep them updated every step of the way. Enter your cell phone number, we will send you a text with your code and then type it in the box below.
General Racing Info & Tips
Final Race Preparation
Here are a few good online articles on your final Preparation. For Half Marathoners, keep in mind some are geared towards the FULL marathon, but most of the concepts apply:
Aide on The Course
There will be plenty of aide and water on the course:
Half Marathon: 7 aide stations (7 Water, 3 Gatorade, 1 GU)
Full Marathon: 15 aide stations (15 water, 7 Gatorade, 2 GU)
Plan on leaving your water bottles, belts and CamelBacks at home - run light, run fast!
Spectators & Road Closures
Every race is different in regards to spectators. The ability and ease for spectators to get on the course and depends on many factors:
Public Access - How available is it? I.e. AFC Half = No spectators at the start area.
The Course Itself - what parts of town (or country) is it going through. Are the neighborhoods safe?
Traffic and Congestion - Is it downtown very crowded, or in back street neighborhoods?
Your transportation - Getting around in a Cadillac Escalade is quite different than a 2-wheel scooter or a Bike.
Rock n Roll has a bunch of information on road closures and the like:
Spectator Guide - http://www.runrocknroll.com/
There alot of details out there, but a few of my personal notes:
Read the website, follow what they have to recommend
Having a bike is best if you’re physically up to it and know the road systems.
Plan on NOT getting to as many spots as you hope
There’s going to be 50,000 others to deal with (racers, spectators, race staff) Patience is key.
Not as worth seeing the start, but get to a spot or two early/mid race course, then make way to finish. (Plan 1 hour to get to finish area)
Actually seeing you cross the finish line will be a rare occurrence – it is quite congested and just thousands of people around the area. Tell your "spectator" not to be discouraged if they can't find you actually running into the end. But to welcome you in the finish area/secure zone.
Official Black Flag Cheer Zone
Please consider joining us cheer on our runners! For those not running, family and/or friends, we usually designate an area to meet up and cheer on the runners. It’s a great time to show some spirit and boost morale of everyone running! Simply show up when you can, and bring some extra goodies:
Runners, wear your Black Flag Running Club Shirt
Signs & Banners
Horns, Sirens, and More Cowbells
Frozen Otter Pops for the runners
Cut up fruit (Oranges) for the runners
Drinks, Snacks, Sunscreen, Lawn chairs (for yourself ;)
Our Marathon Training club is running their big race and we'd love to have you join Black Flag in cheering them and 25,000+ runners on. **We are NO LONGER up in Balboa Park due to the course design, etc.** Instead, we will be at/near the intersection of B Street & 11th Avenue. This is Mile 12.1 of the Half Marathon and 25.2 of the Full Marathon.
1099 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101
After The Race
There is nothing better and more satisfying than finishing, crashing on the grass, celebrating with family and friends. And where applicable . . . hitting the beer garden!! After the race, get your nice finish area picture, pick up any free schwaag, recovery snacks, and drink. NOTE: We do NOT do anything formal after the race. Just find us and celebrate!
Finish Line Secure Zone & Family Reunion (Letter V)
After the race, get your nice picture, pick up your free bags of schwag and recovery snacks through the “Secure Zone” and then head to the gear drop. Once you get everything from the gear drop, head to the "Family Reunion Area" and find letter "V". It's a good idea to send your family friends there too towards the end, cuz the chances of them finding you amongst 20,000+ runners in the general finish area will be slim.
This entire “finish village” is actually quite good for runners and spectators, including those with little ones and children.
YES, you do need an ID to get into the beer garden for your free beer (and additional, purchased beers) Plan to have this on you while you run, or in your gear bag. Or better, with your “spectator(s)” as they meet you at the end.
That's it for now . . . And should be it for the rest of the race weekend. GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL, AND CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN FOR MAKING IT THIS FAR!!! Please let us know if you have any questions!
See ya out there!