There's something special about running a race in your hometown. Favorite friends, familiar haunts, local pride and that feeling of owning every street, every corner, every mile. Running the Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon gave me all of those happy vibes and more.
Intent on spending time in the VIP Lounge for breakfast, coffee and stretching pre-race, I arrived in San Jose an hour and a half before race time. I parked in the VIP garage and walked across Plaza de Cesar Chavez to the venue. Immediately I was greeted by smiling volunteers ready to point me in the right direction.
The VIP Lounge, sold separately from the race entry but worth every penny, was set-up inside of McCormick & Schmick's just across the street from the finish line. The restaurant is very spacious, and the food and drinks were plentiful.
I spent about an hour in the VIP lounge getting myself situated and chatting with other runners. Eventually I made my way to the start line, and by 7:30am we were off and running.
After having had such a tough time at my last half marathon, and knowing it would be a super hot day, I took my time. I tried a few new things as well. I brought salty crackers and drank Gatorade the entire race. Anything to keep me from feeling as sick as I felt last month. I also really just enjoyed the race, the course, the music and the people. The bands were great, and it was awesome seeing our cheer team along the way early in the day.
Towards the end of the race, at mile 12 I stopped to take a short video of the team and chat our with coach. I saw so many people on the course that I know, and that was really cool! I many have spent more time chatting and walking than running - but that was fine. I really enjoyed running into people I hadn't seen in forever.
I even ran into my old buddy Sharkie!
When the race ended, I couldn't get my phone to snap any pictures which was a HUGE bummer. So I made my way over to the extra medals booth to pick up my Remix Challenge medal, then when straight back to the VIP Lounge. I was really looking forward to cleaning myself up and refueling with food and beer.
The VIP area was now more electric than in the morning. Everyone was really excited about their personal race. I grabbed my bag from the bag check crew and cleaned myself up. Then I sat down on the bar side of the restaurant and ordered eggs, potatoes and beer. Yum!
After cleaning myself up, changing into my finisher's shirt and slipping on my new medals, I finally got a post-race photo.
This race is TONS of fun! The course is super flat, fast and SHADY! Even with the high heat advisory, running down the streets with the giant trees really helped as far staying cool. The course support was fantastic as well. I never went without water, potties or Gatorade. The icing on the cake was the VIP Lounge, which I highly recommend for any runner. For me it was extra special because I run alone, so it's nice to have a place to go before and after the race to collect yourself and fuel up.
My total medals for the weekend are super sweet. I have the 5K medal, the half medal and the remix medal. Who could ask for more!?
I'm looking forward to the next race, Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles. With VIP at that race at well, it will be nice to have a secure, safe place to call home for a couple of hours. I look forward to seeing some familiar faces there as well. You can use code FLOWERSCROON to save $25 off your registration!
Disclosure: I am a 2014 Rock 'n' Blog Team member. I have received race entries, but all opinions, photos, training, travel, lodging, meals and miles run are all my own!