Two weeks ago was the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas half marathon; there was only a half option, no full.
But there is also a 2 person relay option. Next year the race will be held on March 27, 2011 and registration costs $85.
The course promises flat and fast, and it is. March is a great time to run in Texas because the weather is perfect for running-cool at the start but sunny at the finish and not too hot.
The expo was held at the convention center downtown. Very easy to get to, but drive around and look for street parking because otherwise it costs $10. The expo was like all the other RnR expos I’ve been to: big, efficiently run and lots of product for sale.
You don’t have to wait in line, there’s clearly marked signage, and you can buy just about any running product under the sun there. There were a couple freebies but not a whole lot of free stuff or samples.
The race benefited the Susan G. Komen foundation to fight breast cancer so there was lot of pink at the expo which was kinda cool.
The race also started downtown near the convention center at 8am. The corrals were very clearly marked, and I had no problem getting into mine. I didn’t see a whole lot of porta potties so I don’t know if this was an issue or not for runners. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were dancing at the start which was fun to see. at least for all the dudes. ok, and me. I love cheerleaders.
Before the start, a lady prayed for all the runners as well as those battling breast cancer. Being a Christian, I thought this was a great way to start the race.
We started on time and took off through downtown. One of the better parts of this race is the course: it’s interesting and keeps your attention because you go through so many different areas and parts of Dallas. I thought the course was fun, interesting, and very pretty for a big city run.
We ran by the spot where JFK was shot as well as by Turtle Creek, Highland Park, past gorgeous, huge mansions, through downtown and then ended in the fairgrounds. The first 8 miles of the course are slightly uphill, the kind of hill where you can’t really tell it’s an incline but your legs feel it. After mile 8, the elevation declines, again very slightly but you can feel it. You end up finishing downhill which is nice.
There was water and Cytomax sports drink about every 2 miles, and there were a lot of volunteers handing the drinks out. At mile 8.8 they handed out GU energy gels, but it wasn’t a free-for-all where you could grab as many as you wanted like at some races.
I also saw a lot of porta potties on the course. Overall I thought the support was good, not amazing but definitely not lacking for anything. As far as spectators, there wasn’t a ton, but then again, it’s an inaugural year…
The last 3/4 of a mile is ran inside the fairgrounds which was fun. It felt like a really long finish chute which built up the excitement.
When I finished, there weren’t a whole lot of people there. My husband even commented that it seemed a little empty. Maybe that was because it was a little early still, I don’t know.
Because the finish is in the fairgrounds, it costs $10 to park there so he drove around and parked for free… in another county practically. But hey, it was a good cool down to walk back to the car.
There was a pretty good supply of food and freebies at the finish; I didn’t grab any but there were also bagels, muffins, oranges and maybe cookies?
The one drawback is the point to point course meaning that the finish line is miles from the start so you have to figure out transportation and how you’re going to get back.
(We stayed at a hotel right next to the start and then my husband drove to the finish to pick me up which worked out great.)
Overall, RnR Dallas is probably my favorite RnR race that I’ve done to date. It’s a fun, pretty , fast course and March is the month of great running weather. Plus Dallas is a fun city to visit and very guest friendly.
I’d rank this race a 9.13 out of 10. For an inaugural race, there were no problems or issues which is pretty amazing.
~Before you sign up, like with any RnR race, look around for a promo code to save $10 or even $20 sometimes off the entry fee.
~Go to the expo and finish line early enough so you can look around for free parking; all those parking fees add up quickly.
~If you are staying downtown near the start of the race, make sure you have dinner plans or reservations Saturday night. We walked around looking for a place to eat and many, especially Italian restuarants, had 45 mins-1 hr waits.
~Wear sunglasses and dress for warm weather in a tank and shorts. It’s going to be sunny and next year’s race is later in March so might be even a tad warmer.
~Plan to spend enough time in Dallas to get to enjoy some of the restaurants and fun things there. It’s a great city with friendly people, good food, good fun.