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Rock N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

When deciding my race schedule for 2015, I knew that I wanted to get the Rock N Roll Cali Combo medal for running three races in California.  I ran San Diego, San Jose and finished up the medal with Los Angeles this past weekend.

We left Saturday morning to head up to Los Angeles for the expo.  This race didn't have the Remix Challenge option (running two races in one weekend) and I was a little disappointed with that.  This is my fifth Rock N Roll race this year and I'd done the Remix Challenge at the other four I've run.  After fighting our way through traffic (a two hour drive turned into almost four hours-- now I know why people say LA traffic is bad.)

The race Expo was at the Los Angeles convention center.  Bib pick-up was relatively easy-- there were several volunteers and not a lot of people picking up at the time we were there.  This was the first time at a RNR race expo that I did not have to wait in line for my bib.  The expo itself was a typical race expo-- I didn't need anything so I looked at the booths, but didn't see anything I couldn't live without.  I did stop at the LA Marathon booth and had a great conversation with one of the people working the booth-- when she learned that the LA Marathon in 2016 would be my first marathon, she gave me some great, honest advice.  She definitely made me feel better about the journey.  My only issue with the expo was that it felt very crowded-- there were a lot of booths crammed into a little space, which at times made it hard to navigate through the booths.

I woke up race morning looking forward to the race.  My past two races had mentally gotten to me and I decided to run this one with no Garmin, hoping that without seeing my pace or time, I might do better.  Since this was was also labeled as a Halloween race, I was looking forward to seeing all the costumes.  As we made our way to the corrals, I noticed a lot of people weren't dressed up.  The costumes I saw were fun, but I definitely expected to see more.  The corrals were organized and the race started on time.  

Flat Jenn ready to race! With all of my favorites!
I knew there had been a course change, but I didn't look at the original course map, so I went into the race unsure of what to expect.   I knew that it was a city run and it was just that.  The course is a little boring-- there wasn't a lot of crowd support, but the crowd support that was out there rocked it.  My biggest concern with this race was making sure I didn't fall-- it was a street race and I'm always nervous about pot holes and street markers.  Around mile 7, I fell into pace with two other runners-- I had been using them as my pacers for most of the race and it turns out, they had been using me as their pacer.  We began talking and found our run groove-- we ran together for about 5 miles and they definitely pushed me, which I loved.  Sometimes when you run by yourself, it's easy to become complacent and not push yourself.  I know I am capable of more and love when other runners push me to do more.

And then we hit mile 11.5.  Where did that hill come from?!?!  I pushed myself to the top, reminding myself to look at the race elevation chart next time.  After the hill, I found my groove and made my way to the finish. I went through the finish corrals and was excited that they had more than enough chocolate milk this time (they had run out at RNR San Jose by the time I finished) and I also enjoyed the iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. 

The Bling

This was the first time I stayed for any of the after show at a Rock N Roll race-- it was fun to see a little bit of Sir Mix-A-Lot's performance.  There was definitely a fun vibe in the crowd.  

Sir Mix-A-Lot
Overall I had a fun race experience, but I think that was more from the people than the race itself.  Nothing stands out as being overly bad or overly good about this race.  I'm definitely glad that I did it and I'd probably do it again. 

The Cali Combo Medal for running three CA races and the Roadie medal for running 5 Rock N Roll Races.

Did anyone else run this race? What are your thoughts.

Until next time, happy running!


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