"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary race entry for the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I chose the Rock n Roll Savannah half marathon for a special purpose – 1) to visit my friend who lives nearby and 2) to have somewhere different to celebrate a big milestone – my 50th half marathon! I have ran several rock n roll races before and know that they don’t disappoint.
Over the months of planning for this, another mutual friend decided to join in on the fun and make a girls weekend in Savannah. I’ve been struggling with my running for the last 6 months or so, but was looking forward to this race.
We flew in on Thursday and stayed at my friend’s house about 30 minutes away in South Carolina. Friday we drove over to Savannah and checked in at the Marriott Riverfront. What a nice hotel, just about a half mile from the start/finish and right on the river. We took the ferry over to the expo (um, how cool is that??) . It’s a short, free ride on the Savannah Belle.
The expo was busy, but not too overcrowded. We were desperately hungry and in search of snacks and samples – it was so strange, but we did not see one energy bar company there at all. Zero. Other than gummies and sport beans, there was nothing. The expo overall seemed smaller and was a bit disappointing.
We had received a message that they were moving the start time up 10 minutes due to heat concerns. Not sure how 10 minutes makes a difference, but it was well communicated by race management. Temps were expected to be the 60s/low 70s and humid. After the expo we went to the City Market – a collection of restaurants and shops over a few blocks – it was very quaint. We sipped on a little Georgia peach sangria in a to-go cup. Did I mention that I love the open container law here in Savannah? Three cheers for that! We decided to go to the prohibition museum across the street for something different. That was really cool. Learned a lot about what it was like back then, and how people got around the law. It ended in a fun speakeasy.
We meandered back to the hotel to put our feet up. It was SO much walking. We went out for dinner and boy did that go wrong. The city was slammed with runners and the restaurant we had a reservation at and had to walk nearly 2 miles to couldn’t handle the crowds. They were nearly and hour behind schedule We had to to uber to another place and wait 20 minutes for pizza. Oh well…at least we had some nice views along the way!
Here is my flatrunner for the race: Bibrave tank top, Skirt Sport Shorts, Pro Compression Socks, Buff USA Buff, Bocogear hat and Garmin Forerunner 935.
Our alarm went off at 6:15 for a 7:20 start. The walk to the start seemed really short. I was meeting up with 2 of my fellow BibRave Pros, Samantha and Jessica. Managed to find them for a quick pic and then got into my corral. We started on time, just as daylight was starting to break. My friends switched to the relay, so we were also able to take a quick start pic together before going our separate ways.
The first 3-4 miles of the course took us through an industrial section of town and over an overpass. Final we turned into a residential area, and there were many residents out in their driveways, cheering us on and providing high fives. Around mile 6 they were handing out mimosas…or so I thought. I had already started taking short walking breaks, so I thought what the heck, and I grabbed one. I swear it was all orange juice. We were finally in the heart of the historic district, which we basically stayed in for the duration of the race. I caught the sun coming up, and what was a typical scene of running under the hanging Spanish moss.
Around mile 7 I was taking a gel and my hands were so sweaty I couldn’t get it open. There were tons of people lining the streets, and I stopped and asked a nice gentleman if he would open it for me. He was so nice. I took intermittent walking breaks roughly every mile or so. I wasn’t that tired, but I was being a little lazy.
At mile 11 they were handing out iced sponges. Glorious. I took a second one they just felt so darn good. At mile 12.5 there was an opportunity for beer, but I was just too close to the finish to give in. I finally had that finish line within my sight.
The last .25 mile was magical, like rainbows and unicorns. I was feeling emotional, euphoric, happy. I was finishing my 50th half marathon feeling fantastic. No pain, not dying from pushing myself hard, but smiling like I had just won the lottery. That feeling continued past the finish line, while I took pics, got my free beer, and waited for my friends to finish the relay. My time was not a great one for me – I finished in 2:22( only 4 minutes faster than my last one, but 32 minutes past my PR). But I took time to really enjoy my surroundings – took pics – high fives – mimosas – and let the thrill of finishing give me satisfaction, instead of stellar finish time.
At the finish, the lines for beer were LONG. Like crazy long. There were plenty of salty snacks, water, chocolate milk and bananas.
Overall, I could not have enjoyed myself any more. I loved the course, the humidity didn’t bother me that much – and even though my time sucked I had a blast seeing the sights. I would enjoy doing this race again!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!