Monday, February 14, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon

Not officially a Brooks
item, but still cool
Didn't go with the
long sleeves
Amazing race this weekend!!

I sure have missed my city, so it was really nice to visit no matter how brief it was. That's the only drawback to these RNR races. They're always on Sunday, so it doesn't really lend itself to enjoying the city that it's in. You can't eat what you want because you have the race on Sunday, then you have to high tail it home for school on Monday. It will be better once I graduate and can take leave on Monday or Tuesday. The good thing about the race being on Sunday is that plenty of people are able to come to and enjoy the expo on Friday and Saturday. A lot of people could care less about the expo, but I love walking around the expo and seeing people's excitement when it's their first big race or when they're getting that pair of shoes at the expo price that they've been waiting to go on sale. It was great to see Carlos and Jess there too!!

Brooks branded toilet paper
When we got to the start, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over to the Brooks VIP Porta Potty to pee like rockstars. It definitely makes all the difference in the world when 1.) you really have to go (very short lines) and 2.) when it's really cold at the start of a race. I mean, you can't pass up Gu Chomps hors d'oeuvres while you wait in a short line to use a warm bathroom with flushing toilets and running water while everyone else is standing in long lines at the "poor man's porta potty". And with Brooks branded toilet paper, even your hiney is happy.

The weather was perfect for this race. The race started at 7am, and it was 40 degrees. I toyed with the idea of running in a long-sleeved Brooks shirt, but changed my mind at the last minute right at the gear check line. I kept the gloves though. That makes all the difference in the world when it's cold. A friend of mine met me right before I checked my bag too to hand off half a box of Honey Stinger Waffles. I stuffed it all in my bag and headed to my corral. There were some other Brooks runners in there, so I made my way to greet them. It's always so cool to meet folks on the same team. Even saw some of the elite Hansons runners up there at the starting line. It's so cool to be in their footsteps and to watch them take off and not see them again till the end of the race. :)

RNR Mardi Gras 1/2
Finisher's Medal
The course can't be any flatter. The tallest spot in New Orleans, Monkey Hill in the Audubon Zoo, is only 30 feet above sea level and is man-made. This was really the perfect course to PR with. And PR I did. Given the Achilles problems I've been dealing with since Christmas, I wasn't expecting to PR. In my head, I was shooting for a 1:23:00 in an effort to qualify for the ING New York City Marathon, but I didn't really think I'd be able to do that. But I was still surprised with a 1:24:41 finish and a 73rd overall placement out of 10,272 runners. I'll take it. Maybe I'll try for another PR in Dallas next month. Can't wait to help with the expo there!!

This is probably my new favorite RNR medal because of how unique it is with the beads. All the other RNR medals I have are on ribbons, but you know NOLA has to be different. :) Great race in a great city.


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