Friday, March 28, 2014

How to tackle a Rock 'n' Roll Race Weekend

As we approach the Oasis Rock 'n' Roll Vancouver Half Marathon and 44th Annual Cunningham Seawall 10k in October, I, along with my fellow Rock 'n' Blog bloggers will be sharing some tips and information to help you have the best experience possible. Since I've traveled to 2 Rock 'n' Roll races in the past (Rock 'n' Roll Seattle & Rock 'n' Roll Portland), and I'm headed to 2 more this Spring, I've decided to share some tips on managing/planning your weekend here in Vancouver, but in general, these tips would apply to any Rock 'n' Roll race weekend.

If you are traveling, make sure you pack all of the appropriate gear for the race as well as the days leading up to/after the race. There's nothing worse than wearing improper footwear leading up to race and having blisters before you even reach the start line! A raincoat, your preferred method of hydration, and compression wear are also things you may want to consider having readily available. I'm sure you've heard this before, but don't plan to try anything new on race weekend, wear comfortable previously broken-in shoes!

Bring your camera!
A race weekend like this is sure to have some amazing photo ops, so be ready, you won't be disappointed!
A photo op with my bib at the Portland Rock 'n' Roll Expo
Nikki took this of me during Rock 'n' Roll Seattle!
Plan out your eats!
It's a great idea to do some research beforehand and have what you need all ready to go by the time the weekend rolls around. If you are attending a race in your own city like I will be, you might want to consider planning your meals the week prior and being sure to have all your grocery shopping and meal preparation done in advance of the weekend. This includes preparing healthy snacks so it won't be tempting to make bad choices. Power cookies (click for recipe) are my favorite, but there are lots of ready-made options out there! I will also be looking at restaurants closer to and hopefully making some reservations because even though I live here, it's always fun to meet up beforehand with your fellow racers for a carb-loading dinner! With Gastown so close to the expo, there are tons of great pre-race options! Also, consider what you might want after the race? It's always great to have something in mind for a little extra motivation to get to the finish line. I myself, will likely be headed to Cartem's Donuterie post-race... yum!

Budget accordingly.
With great restaurants, an amazing expo, and the opportunity to buy some stellar race photos, it is important to know how much you want to spend in advance. I don't always purchase my photos, but for a Rock 'n' Roll race, I always have. They're just too good not to. Marathonfoto will be in charge of race photography at Rock 'n' Roll Vancouver, just like their other races.

Research and leave lots of time to visit the EXPO!
When I first started running, I'll admit I didn't understand what an expo was and why it was so exciting... but now, I've come to look forward to it, especially for a Rock 'n' Roll race, they truly never disappoint. With over 60 exhibitors and the brooks official merchandise store, there will be lots to look at and some great souvenirs for purchase. There's usually a chance to preview the race medal as well as all of the other Rock 'n' Roll medals. I would set aside at least a few hours for the expo so you get to see everything. Hopefully, you'll have a bit more time to see some speakers/entertainment etc. and maybe even visit the waterfront area in Vancouver! Having said that, Rock 'n' Roll is always very organized about Package Pickup so if you need to be in and out, that shouldn't be a problem.
A free photo op from Brooks!
A look at the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon expo from above!
We will have more details to come for the expo, but for now I can tell you it will be taking place at Canada Place on:
Friday, October 24, 12pm – 6pm & Saturday, October 25, 9am – 5pm
Don't overdo it.
Vancouver has so many amazing sights to see and things to do, but I wouldn't overdo it the day before the race with too much walking. Typically, I plan to walk the expo and then do something relaxing for the rest of the day, if possible. Why not come to Vancouver for a whole week so that you'll have lots of opportunities to see our beautiful city without compromising your race legs!
Making time to put my feet up in some Pro Compression socks and Barefooters!
Be prepared. 
Organize all of your race things the night before just to be sure you're not missing out on anything crucial like your bib, timing tag, watch, or ipod.

Plan to get to sleep early.
It's so easy the night before a big race to let the excitement get to you and before you know it, it is way later than you intended to stay awake. Make sure you are home/back to your hotel early enough and try to do the same you would do any other night to get ready for bed. And in case you're staying with friends in a hotel the night before... It's okay to have a little bit of Rock 'n' Roll fun, but just don't go too crazy!
Pajama party anyone?
Enjoy it! 
You trained for it, enjoy everything the race has to offer and have a great time! Don't forget to celebrate your new bling and take in some of the post-race entertainment and perhaps even a treat or 2!


  1. I'm excited to say I'm (most likely) running the Vancouver RnR! I can't wait. I still have to register, but I'd love a fall race and I LOVE Vancouver!! :)

  2. i CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!! so excited for my firsxt RnR...unless of course I get in another RnR before then...

  3. My first marathon that I am planning to run is the Rock N Roll Montreal in September. Super excited!