Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Countdown to Rock N Roll Raleigh Marathon Weekend

3/27/16 Update: Waivers and corral placements are now available. See details below!

In April, I'll be running my first Rock N Roll Marathon Series races.  I'm excited and I know there are many other first-timers out there so I've put together a comprehensive post on everything you need to know to prepare yourself for this weekend. Use #RNRRAL for all your social media posts to connect with other RNR Raleigh runners during race weekend.

First up are the races.  For the first time ever, Raleigh will be hosting a 5K on Saturday April 9th at 8:00 AM.  With the introduction of a 5K comes the release of the Remix Challenge medal, as well.  The challenge is for anyone looking to take home some extra bling by testing their endurance.  I'm a sucker for race challenges because I LOVE BLING so I'll be participating in The Remix Challenge.  After taking on the 5K on Saturday morning, challengers will then run either a Half Marathon or Marathon on Sunday through the city of Raleigh.  After completing my first Marathon in January of this year as part of Disney's Dopey Challenge, I've decided to take it easy and run the Half Marathon.  It will be a while before I train for another Marathon.

Sooooo speaking of medals... I've gotta show you the bling for this weekend.  The medal features Sir Walter Raleigh, as well as the logo for The Dickie V Foundation.  The V Foundation for Cancer Research was started in 1993 by Dick Vitale and is the official charity for Rock N Roll Raleigh Marathon Weekend. 

Let's not forget about the Remix Challenge medal, either. 

Registration is still open for the Half Marathon and Marathon.  As of 3/27, the 5K has sold out.  Online registration for both Sunday's races remains open until April 3rd.

Rock N Roll Marathon series is also offering the Beat Your Time Challenge for all Rock N Roll Raleigh alumni.  Runners who beat their previous time in the same race distance will receive one oef these limited edition koozies!  This exclusive prize is definitely motivation to return in 2017 to rock even harder!


The expo for the races begins on Friday at 3:00 PM.  Runners can pick up bibs and items such as concert tickets at The Raleigh Convention Center.  The expo will only be open for four hours on Friday, but is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday.

I mentioned concert tickets... Runners participating in the Marathon or Half Marathon are entitled to a limited quantity of complimentary tickets to GAVIN DEGRAW!  He will be performing at The Red Hat Theatre on Friday night.  Doors open at 7:00 PM, but Gavin DeGraw isn't scheduled to perform until 9:00 PM.  If you are registered for the Half Marathon or Marathon, you can use this link to request your Gavin DeGraw tickets.  Non-runners can purchase them for $25 each.  I don't know about anyone else, but I am extremely excited for his performance!  Growing up in North Carolina, I of course watched One Tree Hill (it was filmed in Wilmington, NC) and was obsessed with the opening credit song "I Don't Want to Be."  His debut album, Chariot, was one of my top five favorite albums in high school.  I've seen him in concert once and remember it being a great show so I may or may not have to come up with a Gavin DeGraw playlist for the rest of my training runs...

When it comes to race day, I recommend challengers go all out with the 5K rather than "take it easy."  Incorporate back to back runs into your training program and you'll be able to tackle both races come April.  In my opinion, the 5k gives runners the ability to stretch their muscles and acclimate themselves to the type of course and weather.  If anything, it's a mini test run for the big day.

Like I said, I've never participated in a Rock N Roll Marathon series race, but I hear the on-course entertainment is awesome.  St. Lucia is the headliner for the weekend and will be performing during Sunday's races.  Post-race, the website states that runners will receive a celebratory beer.  Anyone who lives in NC knows you can't SELL liquor before Noon on Sundays, so I emailed the coordinator just to MAKE SURE runners would still receive their finish line beer.  After all, starting a 7:00 AM will have me finishing around 9:30 AM and two and a half hours is a long time to wait for a post-race beer.  She assured me that because they are not selling alcohol, all runners over the age of 21 will still receive their beer.  PHEW.  I was really sweating that one.

If you've purchased a Tour Pass from Rock N Roll, the Raleigh Half Marathon or Marathon can be counted towards earning any of your heavy medals for 2016.  It is also part of the Southern Charm Limited Edition Medal.  Run in any three of the four following cities to earn this extra bling: Savannah, New Orleans, Nashville and Raleigh.  I sadly won't be earning this medal in 2016, but I'd like to make it to all four southern cities next year! 

I'm also running in Virginia Beach in September, which qualifies me as a "Double Beat" Heavy Medalist.  Remember, if you will be running multiple RNR locations in the same calendar year, you are eligible for heavy medals.  Use this registration link in order to secure your spot as a Heavy Medalist for 2016 races.  Here are a few tips on Heavy Medals, from RNR's website:

  • Only half and full marathon distances count toward earning Heavy Medals 
  • Be sure to register with the exact same name and birthday to ensure your races count
  • Prepare to wait 8-10 weeks for your Heavy Medal to arrive in the mail.  Once you have run 5 or more qualifying races in one calendar year, you will receive an email prior to future races with directions to pick up your Heavy  Medal at the finish line.  
Corral Placement and Waiver Update: 
Race confirmation emails were sent out on March 23rd.  If you did not receive the email, don't worry because I am providing you with all the links and information included in that email!

You can visit registration confirmation and print out your waiver for the expo.  Please note that you will need this form printed out and signed, along with photo ID, in order to receive your bib on race weekend.  Bib numbers and corral placement are both printed on the waiver.  I'm starting in corral 15!  I'm uncertain how many corrals there will be for the Half Marathon, but it appears there are 1,000 runners per corral.  Final information for the 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon can be found using those links.  One of the runner perks for Rock N Roll Raleigh is the Show Your Bib program.  Local businesses on this list are offering discounts to runners who show their bib or finisher medal during race weekend.

That's all I have for now on Rock N Roll Raleigh Marathon Weekend.  I'm looking forward to this new experience and meeting a ton of runners!  I hope to see ya there!



  1. I look forward to reading a race recap on this since I'm a native North Carolinian. The Sir Walter Raleigh medal is neat. Only RnR race I've ever done was in Chicago in 2014. I wasn't impressed, but hopefully this is better.

  2. What was your experience running Chicago like? I imagine post-race pizza options would be great haha I haven't heard anything about RNR Chicago or Raleigh so this race weekend should be interesting. Someone just warned me about hills and now I'm nervous.