Rock N Roll NOLA RECAP: Part 1

5 Feb

OK. So I figured that I would split up my race recap into three (ish) parts, part 1 (which is here) will be about the expo and pre-race stuff, part 2 (which should be up tomorrow) will be about race day, and part 3 (which will be up either Sat or Sun) will be about what to do next now that I’ve accomplished my goal.

First thing first, when writing this I realized that I had not transferred my pictures over yet from my phone/camera so I will go ahead and publish this as is, but when I get home (currently writing during a break at school on a lab computer) I will strike this out and insert the pictures. I didn’t want to deprive y’all of a post so I will start without the pictures. (Race shirt and another will be shown tomorrow they are in the wash I believe).

Sat. Feb 1

My Saturday started really early. I had driven home to Pensacola from school the day before and Saturday was when we were officially driving to New Orleans! My dad unfortunately couldn’t make it because he was on call for work and couldn’t get anyone to swap days with him at work. Bummer. So my mom and I started off early by dropping Charlie off at the vet’s office to be boarded for the weekend. (With my dad on call he could have ended up anywhere and may have had to spend the night somewhere, thus was unable to watch him for us). We drove through Mobile and picked my brother up at his dorm room and then we officially were on the way! I still couldn’t believe that this weekend was already here (and as I type this I couldn’t believe that I have finished a marathon!).

We went straight to the expo when we had got there. I was hoping that we would have gotten there early enough for a tweet-up that the race was holding with two twitter runners that I had been talking to and following as of late but our trip was delayed a bit at various stops and we didn’t make it in time.

We get to the gigantic convention center where the expo was being held and lo and behold in the room (ballroom whatever) right next to the expo upstairs they were holding auditions for So You Think You Can Dance. (I’ve never really watched the show that much honestly, and was surprised that they were still on air I suppose).  I figured I would put all the auditionees to shame with my mad dance skills (NOT!) so I decided against auditioning that day.

photo 5 (2)

We get to the expo and it was the hugest thing I have ever seen. Most of the races I have done have been really little (in comparison) and only a couple of them actually had expos but they were tiny compared to RNRNOLA. They had a red carpet directing you inside to pickup your packet, shirt and goody bag along with a countdown clock until race time.

photo 1 (3)

At this point my mother was driving me slightly insane. For some reason she was far more than her usual self and I wondered what she put in her coffee she was oddly hyper. Thankfully my brother saw my annoyance and intercepted in order to wrangle some of her energy.

photo 2 (4) photo 4 (3)

After pickup the first area that you go into (which is about ½ of the room or so) is the Brooks sponsored area.  They had tons of running clothes (from the generic to the New Orleans specific). I ended up getting a cute tank top with a picture of Louisiana on it (there will be a pic) and a long sleeve gray shirt (that was actually a men’s shirt but super comfortable) that said Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon on it (and I may have worn it to school yesterday) and then my mom bought myself and her a lightweight running cap.

photo 3 (2) photo 4 (2)

They had this neat little “Island” area where you went in and got your “passport” and then they had three different stations from a gate analysis, mechanical shoe (instead of mechanical bull) and this neat little racing up a volcano thing. If you did all three things, you would get a stamp and then could get a tote cooler thing. We opted not to do the events but went straight to the marketplace. On your passport was a QR code. The people there would scan the code and you would win anything from a pair of Brooks shoes (pretty rare to get, but the people behind me got it), a t-shirt, foam finger or a small plastic tote.  My brother and I both won t-shirts and my mom won the tote.

From there we went to the other half of the expo where tons of different retailers and such all had booths. There were things from massage sticks to headbands, compression socks to GU gels and everything in between.  To keep this post from getting to long I’ll skip to some of the highlights.

I ended up getting 2 pairs of running socks as I needed some more dry-wick socks and tried and voted for the RNR official GU flavor (I picked the salted watermelon one). We went to the Geico booth where you got a pair of shoelaces and a car decal for the race and could spin the wheel to be sponsored by Geico and win some pretty nice stuff from them. Didn’t win on the wheel (but of course the guy behind me does, ugghh).  They had some people from previous Biggest Loser seasons there which was pretty neat. I stop by the FlipBelt booth as I was looking to get another belt but unfortunately due to the stupid winter and ice storm their shipment didn’t get in in time so they only had XL belts, but they did give me a coupon code to get 20% off online (which I will for sure be doing). I absolutely love my flipbelt and can’t wait to get a second one. Then my mom paid for a parking pass that would guarantee us somewhat decent parking and we were done with the expo.

Almost forgot! I also got my 26.2 Marathon Magnet to go on my car!!!

We were at the expo much longer than expected and were starving. Ended up just getting snacks and heading to the hotel with the plan for an early dinner. Our hotel was pretty far from the actually expo (and resulting start line for the race) but we got it free through rewards points so can’t complain much there. We asked for suggestions from the front desk and at about 4:30 we went off to eat dinner. Somehow we ended up a primarily seafood restaurant (I hate seafood and used to get sick at the smell of it) that had okay food (although the fried eggplant sticks were pretty awesome) but extremely slow service. They had even gotten my order wrong so I had to wait even longer for my chicken pasta (did I mention that I was starving?).

photo 2 (3) photo 1 (2)

Fast forward back to the hotel where I laid out my running clothes for the next day, made sure that my gym bag was packed with my change of clothes and anything I would need/want immediately post race and I was off to bed at around 8:45/9:00ish.

My name is Holley and in a nutshell that was my day before my marathon.


One Response to “Rock N Roll NOLA RECAP: Part 1”


  1. Rock N Roll NOLA Recap: Part 2 | The Dog With The Broken Ear - February 6, 2014

    […] Well here it is what you have all been waiting for. My recap of race day and the day I completed my goal of running a marathon. For part 1 of my recap which covered the expo you can click here. […]

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