The 2nd Annual Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon was a much better race than the inaugural one. Like a million bagillion times better.
I’ll do a comparison because then I can tell you why (I think) it was better. But not as much detail because I
can’t remember it don’t want to bore you to death.
Getting to the expo: Last year we were stuck for an hour on the bridge to get to the island on which the expo was held then had to park a mile and a half away. This year, driving was a breeze and parking was easy because the coordinators of the event also made available ferry boats to go from downtown to the island; so not everyone and their mother had to park on the island.
The expo: Last year, the lines were discombobulated and confusing. People weren’t completely sure of where they needed to be and it was crowded like a mofo. This year, the lines were set up similarly, but things seemed more refined and streamlined. I got my swag bag and bib in about 5 minutes. Then I stopped by the Mizuno set up and got me a new pair of kicks! Mizuno Wave Precision 13. I’ll call them my watermelon shoes. Then I got in line to get my garage parking pass. (More on this later.)
Dinner: Italian restaurants were still packed. But, long hurr don’t curr, cuz I went to a Japanese express place and had a plate of hibachi shrump. I went to a little hole in the wall place that was recommended, which happened to be next door to an Italian place. I was in and out before some people were even seated next door.
Race morning & parking: Woke up nice and early. 4:35. Got dressed. Left. Grapped a cuppa coffee from a gas station on my way downtown. I was only about 10 minutes from downtown. Last year, if a person wasn’t staying downtown there was the option of finding parking somewhere down there or going to one of the designated shuttle stops and catching a bus. B and I went to the mall that was 15 minutes from our hotel to catch the bus. The ride there wasn’t so bad. The ride back to the mall was awful. One thing is worse than riding a bus. And that’s riding a bus when the driver doesn’t know where’s she’s going (apparently our bus was not the only bus with this problem). THIS year, there weren’t any shuttles. Instead, there were two downtown garages that were closed off to the general public (I assume) for race participants. This is where my parking pass came in. I bought it in advance (because better safe than sorry!) and parked in the garage that my pass was for.
Starting line: Last year I was in corral 23. Way in the back. Which is fine. ‘Cept I started off faster than a lot of people I was surrounded by. So that means a lot of “cutting off” (sorry peeps from last year!) and people-dodging. The starting line announcers were super boring. But it did start on time. This year, I started in corral 6. But didn’t start off as fast as some people around me. Side note: probably would’ve been better off in 8 or 9. In any case, the race started on time but the announcers were just as not exciting.
The course: Last year it was 13.1 miles through all sorts of parts of town and the full and half split just after mile 11. This year, it was exactly the same.
The finish line: Last year, I can’t remember because I just wanted to get the hell out of the finish line area! This year, there was a lot of goodies. Chocolate milk. ‘Naners. Mini bagels. Mini muffins. Fruit cups. Water. Snickers energy bar. Nope, I didn’t grab one of each. I only have two hands. Chocolate milk, fruit cup, ‘naner, water and snickers bar. Priorities people.
Leaving: Last year we had to wait in line for about 30 minutes to catch a shuttle to get back to the mall to find our car. This year, I walked from the park to the parking garage (a 20 minute walk, good to stretch out my legs!) to get into my car and left.
I know after last year there were a lot of people saying they weren’t going to do this race again in Savannah. I understand that the first year of events are the ones that are going to have the most issues because no one is sure how things will end up. People who have participated in “Rock ‘n’ Roll” events in the past said they expected much more because it was an established event. I have no experience with this series, so I didn’t know how they ran things. This year was much better than last and I plan to do this race year after year.