Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rock N Roll San Jose Race Weekend

Life got a little busy this past week, so I'll be recapping the whole weekend in one post.  This was my first time in San Jose, so I was definitely looking forward to this race weekend and exploring a new city.

The Expo
This was my fifth Rock N Roll event and I've learned that not all expos are created equal.  I suppose it has a lot to do with location and the number of runners involved for companies to decide if it's worth being at the expo.  The expo for RNRSJ was small compared to some of the others, but some of my favorite companies were there. I was excited to see Mama Chia there-- due to the liquids limit for plane carry-ons, I couldn't bring any with me, so I was excited to get my weekend supply at the expo.  I also found a few other goodies to bring back to San Diego with me.     

The 5K
As part of the Remix challenge, the weekend begins with a 5K on Saturday.  Our hotel was conveniently located 2 blocks from the start line, so we didn't head over until about 20 minutes before start time.  I'm usually at the start area at least an hour before a race begins so this made me a little nervous.  But we had plenty of time and I had a chance to say hi to one of my running friends, Karla, before the race.  And then we were off.  The race started at time and it was your typical 5K course.  Because I'd never been to San Jose, I was intrigued by the architecture and obvious economical differences in neighborhoods.  I always find the beauty in the juxtapositions in one general area.  The finish line area was fun-- a band was playing some good music, they had free beer and I was able to chat with some people I'd met earlier in the morning.  I also had a change to meet Roger Craig-- I'm not a 49ers fan, but I respect the sport enough to know that this was a opportunity I couldn't pass up.  After the race, we were off to explore San Jose.

The race outfit-- you can't go wrong with We Run Social and ProCompression gear.
The Bling!

49ers legend, Roger Craig

The Half Marathon
Sunday morning brought the Half Marathon-- we were a little further away from the start line for this, but still close enough to get there with a 10 minute walk.  With an 8am start time, this was the latest I've ever slept in for a race morning.  

Rocked the #TwoPairDontCare Look for the Half!

I had been told this was a flat course and it mostly was.  There were a few elevation changes, although I wouldn't call them hills.  The course took us through several areas of the city and again I was fascinated with the differences in the neighborhoods and their differences.  

The race support along the course wasn't as much as I've seen in other cities, but the people that were out there were awesome.  Especially in the neighborhoods.  One house was handing out fresh fruit and it was delicious! The volunteers were also awesome-- I always appreciate the people who get up early to volunteer their time for us. 

Half Marathon and Remix Challenge Bling
Overall, this course wasn't bad, but it wasn't that exciting either.  It's a fun race and I'd run it again, but I would change a few things.  A 8:00am start time for a half-marathon seems a bit late.  It started getting warm, especially towards the end.  I don't know their reasoning for the later start, the 5K started 30 minute earlier the day before, but I'm sure they have reasons.  They also had run out of some of the refreshments by the time I had finished.  I'm not the fastest runner, but I'm also not the slowest and I was looking forward to the chocolate milk at the finish line.  (The had also run out of Power Bars, but I was't interested in those.)  I've never organized a big race, but since you know how many people are running, I would think that you would plan for that number.  I heard from other runners that they weren't monitoring how many of each people took, so several runners took multiple items.  I'm not sure where the issue was and overall it's something silly to be cranky about.  Maybe it will just encourage me to run faster for my next race so that I get my chocolate milk! 

Exploring San Jose
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I had never been to San Jose before this weekend, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  We stayed in walking distance of our hotel, but there were some cute areas around us.  We went to the San Jose Museum of Art (several exhibits were closed for new exhibit installations, so I wasn't impressed) and walked around.  

San Jose Museum of Art

After the 5K, we met up with Karla (@purple_kaye) for lunch at Ike's, a sandwich shopped based in Northern California.  I'd had never been there and my Home for Thanksgiving sandwich was delicious.  
When Instagram friends hang out in real life.

Exploring the city was fun.  We tried new restaurants, admired the street art and explored fun little shops.  The most fascinating part about the weekend was the visit from the Prime Minister of India.  I've never experienced anything like it-- from the media coverage to the intense security everywhere, it was fascinating to see everything in action. 

I'm looking forward to my next Rock N Roll event in Los Angeles later this month to complete my Cali Combo challenge.

Until next time, happy running!

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