February 13, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll St. Petersburg Half Marathon, Feb. 12: race review (Part 1)

Well, because I’m being extremely wordy, I decided to break this review in two. Part 1 chronicles the day before the race (race expo, preparation) and Part 2 will chronicle the actual race and aftermath. 

Going into the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Petersburg Half Marathon, I was scared. I'd heard the horror stories of other Rock ‘n’ Roll races, and I questioned why I signed up for this race in the first place. Oh, yeah. It was local, convenient, a flat course and my training group had a plan for it. So, I went for it. 

I was still a little nervous when I heard they were charging $15 to park for the free expo that you had to attend to pick up your race packet. It took place at Tropicana Field, my summer home and home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Technically, I think it was Tropicana Field charging for the parking (their policy is to charge for any nonprofit event taking place there), not the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, but come on. This had to be disclosed in the contract Rock ‘n’ Roll had with Tropicana Field. And, they should have nixed discussions there or agreed to pay for the parking, in my opinion. 

With my dad at my summer home
Thankfully, as I mentioned, this is my summer home and I’m very familiar with the area, so I had my boyfriend drop me off outside the parking lot so I could walk in and pick up my packet. I noticed many others doing this same thing.

Once inside, the packet pickup was easy, organized and quick. And, it happened in the outfield of a Major League Baseball field (major bonus in my book).

Once I grabbed my race bib, I moved easily on to grab my T-shirt and swag bag. I like the T-shirt (and it fits — a bonus). The swag bag was OK — nothing too exciting.

Since I didn’t really need anything (and with my boyfriend and my dog waiting patiently outside), I kind of sped through the expo. I grabbed a few freebies: a 5-Hour Energy (love this stuff), soy ice cream products (a fudge bar and an ice cream sandwich that I split with my boyfriend — we both thought they tasted a little funky) and the major score: a carton of almond milk. Yes, a full-sized carton.

Since the entire expo was on a baseball field, it was spread out nicely. And, even though I went on Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t crowded (or didn’t feel crowded due to the large space).

After the expo, we hit Starbucks, the dog park and had dim sum for dinner. Even with plans for an early bedtime, I didn’t make it to bed until 11:30 p.m. for a 5:30 a.m. alarm … or so I thought.


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