Race Recap: Rock n Roll Va. Beach Half Marathon

Date: September 5, 2021; 7 AM
Distance: 13.1 MI (plus 2 miles before the half)
Place: Virginia Beach, vA
Weather:  86 F 
Official Time / PACE: 2:31:39 / 11:35 min/mi
Swag: Tech T-shirt, finisher medal, goody bag with a LOT of post race snacks, face mask, Heineken 0.0

While I did not run as well as I wanted to do, I did enjoy running my first half marathon in my hometown. In my defense, this half marathon was supposed to a 19-mile training run for NYC Marathon.

Pre Half Marathon:

I will say that the Rock n Roll folks did a good job with the race expo.

I thought bib pick up was pretty easy breezy for the most part. Actually, it probably was easy breezy because I went early on the first day of bib pick up. Also, there were not 80 thousand vendors trying to sell you everything under the sun. I’m kind of a get in and get out kind of guy when it comes to race expos.

Since finishers who are over 21 years old could receive free samples of Heineken 0.0 after the race, it was recommended that runners pick up their wristbands before the events. I thought it was kind of weird that I had a wear a wristband from Friday to Sunday (the day of the half). A volunteer told me that we had to wear the wristbands over the entire weekend because someone could give the wristband to someone who is under 21.

Here the thing:

  • Are folks under 21 really trying to score free NON-ALCOHOLIC BEERS?
  • There’s probably more alcohol in apple cider vinegar than in Heineken 0.0

It was a bit annoying that the race expo did not have parking information that you could take with you especially because the parking information was VERY limited on Rock n Roll’s website.

Half Marathon Time:

Honestly, I arrived to the start a bit later than expected – quite a few of the parking garages and parking lots were full or closed.

Walking to the start

It was so beautiful running along the ocean front right after sunrise. I will say that the first 4 miles were really nice because of the crowd participation, music, views of the beach/ocean from the boardwalk, and running through the strip. However, things became a bit “boring” from mile 5 to about mile 10 because it was super quiet. While quiet, it was nice to see some sights that I have never seen growing up in Va Beach. Although this section of the race was “boring”, it was very well shaded, which is always an A+ in my book.

“You’re almost there.” Girl, shut up! And, never say that to a running who just started a half marathon

Miles 11 to 13.1 were when things became a bit more exciting because we were coming “home” via the boardwalk. Running in direct sunlight was one of my biggest concerns the weeks/days leading up to the half. While the majority of the race was shaded, the sun was on top of us while finishing the last two miles on the boardwalk . . . and it was hell.

Lol Moment:

I thought it was kind of funny that volunteers were handing out cans of Heineken 0.0 at mile 12. I’m like we still have one more mile left in this thing. I guess they wanted us to get the party started early.

Post race stuff I:

While I did not have a major goal going into this half marathon, I was kind of proud of myself for not walking until Mile 7. This probably happened because I did not take many pictures during the race. Actually, I only took a quick video once we hit the boardwalk for the first time, and a bunch of pictures after finishing. Although I do not need to stop to take quick race snapshots for some memorable moments during a race, I have noticed that it does throw off my rhythm. Maybe this is something to think about for future races.

Neptune and I

Going forward, if i need to incorporate a long training run into a half marathon, I need to run the additional miles BEFORE the race. For my NYC Marathon training plan, I was supposed to run 19 miles. While I did run (technically jog) about two miles to the start from the parking lot, once I finished I did not really feel like running. I was not completely drained, but I was not in the mood after receiving my medal, post race snacks, cold cloth, two cans of Heineken 0.0.

Once I put all of my post-race goodies in my finisher bag, it was pretty damn heavy. While I did not have to accept the post-race goodies, that crap is built into registration fees, and I like to get my money’s worth. However, there was about a 2 mile walk back to my father’s car so I counted that as part of my long run. Oh well; feet smell.

Of course I had to seize the opportunity and go for a dip in the ocean after the half.

While I spent about 30-45 min on the beach, I left earlier than anticipated because I was STARVING (and I wanted a frozen ADULT beverage). I hit up Harvest Va for a couple watermelon vodka slushies and some sort of egg bowl – both were absolutely delicious.

After running, beaching, eating and drinking, I thought I was all set to go home, shower, and head to my cousin’s cookout. NOPE! The key fob for my dad’s car would not turn on the car. While I entered the car by manually using the key instead of the FOB to unlock the car, the key would not turn on the damn thing. Before you ask: No, the battery was not dead because the power windows, radio, exterior/interior lights, and horn were functional. Long story short and an hour later, I had to Uber my dad to the beach so he could bring a spare key fob. It took some time, because I wanted to troubleshoot someways to override the car’s theft system. Since my dad and I do not have the best relationship (and I knew that he would blame me), I wanted to troubleshoot every option before calling him. Perhaps one of these days, I should write a blog post about my relationship with my father . . . it might be cathartic.

Although this half was part of Rock n Roll Run Series, I did not stick around to for the post-race concerts. I really did not see much of any social distancing happening near the concert’s stage.

Post-race stuff II:

I think that I would like to get one or two running-themed tattoos. I saw a couple of cool ones while running the half marathon this past weekend. We shall see with will happen with my tattoo plans.

That was Va Beach Half Marathon. See you in a couple of weeks (maybe) for Madrid’s Marathon.

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    • When I was getting a wristband for my nonalcoholic beer (eyeroll), the volunteer told me that they are trying to get the race back. I thinking: Y’all told us this was the last one to get more folks to register. In the area, we have a furniture store that used to have a yearly going out of business sale.

      Were you the person who told me that Rock n Roll makes hosting cities ban other races for 3 months before and after their events?


      • That’s a little confusing, isn’t it? (And the non-alcoholic beer. Good grief.) Is it over or is it not?!

        Yes, that was me. I did some more research to confirm it – so far, my info stands. They have essentially a moratorium on other races during their “season”.


    • Yeah. That’s what I’m say.

      While the sun was on us for the last 3 miles, the heat was not THAT bad especially for Va in early September. I’ll take running 3 miles over 13.1 miles in direct sun.


  1. Great job! I’m glad you enjoyed the course, my hairdresser ran it a few years ago and found it boring. She also does a lot of trail running though so just might not have been her thing.


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