The Running Lushes have been busy this month! We started the month in the Big Easy running the Rock n Roll New Orleans 5k and Half Marathon, and moved on from there to the nation’s capital running the Rock n Roll Washington DC Half Marathon. Both were great events, and here is a recap of the highlights:
Rock n Roll New Orleans
Expo: We went to the Expo on Friday afternoon at about 4:30pm. The expo was held at the massive New Orleans Convention Center. We were surprised at how small the expo was and with how few vendors were there. We are used to enjoying the expo experience and have come to expect seeing certain companies represented there, but for some reason, this was a pretty quiet scene and EMPTY. Where were the electrolyte and gel/bar samples? Where were the other local race series? Where was the flipbelt and gear vendors? Where was everyone? We like to see a larger expo with our favorite brands there, like Nuun, Glukos, Honey Stinger, Powerbar, SportsBeans, etc.
Events: Rock n Roll New Orleans offered several different events over the weekend of March 3rd – 4th. The 5k was on Saturday morning and the course went mainly through the French Quarter and the waterfront area. The Half Marathon (there are also Marathon and 10k distances available) was on Sunday morning and the beautiful course ran through the Garden District, French Quarter, Waterfront and ended up with a dramatic finish at the City Park. If you run the 5k Saturday and any distance on Sunday (Marathon, Half or 10k), you will earn a special Remix medal! Love this!
Course: As you’d expect from Rock n Roll, the course is well supported with water, electrolyte drinks and gels. The volunteers are cheerful, supportive and helpful. The key area for improvement would be to have more bands on the course. We’ve come to expect and appreciate having bands and local cheer squads every couple of miles on Rock n Roll courses. Since this race is in New Orleans, a city known for its music scene, we would have liked to see more bands at this event.
Finish Line: The finish line was amazing. And there was plenty of food and drink for finishers. The beer garden is always a must for the Running Lushes, and much appreciated after a long run. Since this particular course has different start and end points, there was a bus shuttle back to the start line. This was well organized and fairly efficiently run given the large number of runners needing transportation at the conclusion of the race.
Bling: The medals are small, but very nice. They are colorful and fun. And earning the Remix medal for running the 5k and the Half is always fun. The Rock n Roll t-shirts are now very standard for all of their races, with slight variations in the design based on the race location. The shirts are still Brooks, which is a nice quality technical t-shrit (although we will warn you that they run very small this year), but we miss the designs that had more of a focus on the local scene.
Rock n Roll Washington DC
Expo: The expo was held at the DC Armory and required metal detectors and bag inspections for entry. The expo was a good size with lots of great vendors and samples. Dannon Oikos was there offering free yogurt and Sabra was there handing out hummus and pretzels. Great companies were there representing and it was lots of fun.
Course: Unlike New Orleans, all events took place on Saturday, so there was no opportunity to run multiple distances during the weekend. The Half Marathon (there are also Marathon and 5k distances available) starts on the Mall near the Washington Monument and heads west past the Lincoln Memorial and then north along the Potomac and then East through some great neighborhoods before heading south with a great view of the Capitol building before ending at the DC Armory (same site as the expo) As always with Rock n Roll, there was great course support and plenty of bands along the way. This race had amazing spectators with great signs, fun stands in their front yards (including a Bacon Stand, donuts, lots of people offering beer, and more!) and really great enthusiasm in support of the runners.
Finish Line: The finish line was great with plenty of water, chocolate milk and food. Gear check was great, as usual, which we needed since it was 35 degrees at the start!
Bling: Like NOLA, the medals are small, but very nice. They are colorful and fun. The t-shirt is similar to NOLA but blue with references to various DC monuments.
In summary, we would recommend both of these races. They have the best of what Rock n Roll offers in a race, plus both locations make them worthwhile for destination races!
This cocktail is a take on the classic NOLA Hurricane but with DC twist.
3 oz White rum
3 oz Dark rum
1 oz Lime juice
6 oz Passion fruit juice
1/2 oz St. Germain
Put contents in a blender and fill with ice. Blend until frozen/slushy consistency. Pour in a large wine glass and garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. Enjoy!