In December, I attended my first Rock n Roll Marathon. For over 20 years, the Rock ‘n‘ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. It’s definitely an experience and race that many people have talked about for years. They have a variety of races all around the world, Hall of Fame and loads of bling/medals.
San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon
For my first Rock n Roll, I decided it would be San Antonio as I had a few folks, that were running it and it seemed to be a great way to enjoy my own lone star state. As a Brooks Run Happy Ambassador, I have access to a complimentary entry and VIP. You all know, I am running around the country and love showcasing the truth about traveling and running on a budget to these marathon so San Antonio was my pick for the year as it was fairly affordable and easy to either drive or fly too. Instead of a normal “day-by-day” review, I wanted to showcase a few things to avoid and things to embrace if you want run the Rock n Roll San Antonio race.
Things To Avoid at Rock N Roll San Antonio Race
- Do avoid the 5k. Most folks I know who ran it said it wasn’t worth it. The few that did it only did it for the remix medal, and they had to go in earlier anyway. It was basically an out and back race so nothing fancy.
- Don’t expect to see the Alamo. This race doesn’t run past nor end in front of it. ITts not far at all from it but just don’t get your hopes of seeing the famous Alamo during the run or while running.
- Don’t expect a lot of options for merchandise. I have often seen a lot of options of shirts and specialty stuff for the Rock & Roll races all over. There wasn’t anything online about San Antonio at all nor really any specialty merchandise. There was a finisher’s jacket I wanted, but they hardly had any.
- Don’t wait merchandise to be available on Saturday. Most of the shirts and jacket apparel was already sold out or not available in all the sizes by the time we got to the expo on Saturday at noon.
- Don’t expect long lines on Saturday at the expo. I was shocked at how the lines weren’t very long at all, and if they were, they moved very quickly too. I guess because everyone shopped the day before.
- Don’t skip on all the freebie post-race stuff. From a finishers bib poster to more free snacks for runners, there was a lot of post-race stuff memorabilia.
- Skip theWestin package. The Westin package includes the VIP pre and post race, hotel stay and a few extra perks like late check-out and a lead shakeout run the day before. It’s roughly around $299 a night on top of the entry for the race. I stayed at the Homewood suites, which is right next to the Westin for half the cost and it included breakfast and a few other complimentary items. We ate at Westin the night before and came out way cheaper.
Things To Do at Rock N Roll San Antonio Race
- Do enjoy the VIP. I enjoyed the VIP and was satisfied with the unlimited mimosa, beer, and private bag check. I enjoyed the patio and food, which had a variety of options for vegan and pre and post race nutrition.
- Do make reservations for eating out unless you want to wait two hours for everything. This includes the hotel dinner you are staying to anything on the riverwalk. Everything has a long wait time every day for most things around there so without reservations you are going to be starving.
- Do enjoy the race without headphones. There is a lot of music along the race and I truly enjoyed the variety of it. From mariachi bands to a few rock bands, the music was great to vibe out too!
- Do expect the Blue mile to move you. This mile is dedicated to the fallen military in action. It is a very emotional mile and ends with a row flag salute from service men and women and military families.
- Do expect a lot of hills. When a say a lot .. I mean a LOT. The entire race is nothing but a mix of hills. It will challenge you no doubt.
- Do bring your own nutrition. There isn’t much besides GU before mile 12. I didn’t see anything like any fruit or bread event. So if you need food just make sure you have it with you.
- Do enjoy eating and trying new restaurants. There are a variety of restaurants from Greens Vegetarian Cuisine to the Westin hotel restaurant that were very good. I enjoyed having brunch Las Canarias – Omni La Mansion. There are a variety of vegan and vegetarian options around the city and within walking distance.