Over labor day weekend, Runner and I ran in our 3rd consecutive Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Virginia Beach. There is definitely something to repeating a race over and over – you gain a ton of knowledge on how to have a great experience.
1. Book your hotel early
You will be tempted to stay in a hotel outside of the beach to save money. We’ve done it twice before, especially when we needed a hotel last minute. The race’s shuttle service is amazing but you will have to wake up suuuuper early. The city offers a limited number of parking lots that fill up quickly. If you truly want to enjoy an end-of-summer beach vacation, book in May. We found a great deal at the Sundial Inn which was just a block from the beach. We were able to walk to the start and finish lines.
2. Pizza makes a delicious pre-race meal
Pizza is popular here. We’ve tried Planet Pizza and Dough Boys. These are chain restaurants you can find up and down the main drag (Atlantic Ave.). The trick to these places is to avoid standard meal times – eat early or late. And if pizza’s not your thing, we did notice that a few local restaurants and churches offer spaghetti dinners for runners.
4. Don’t get sun sick
Go to the beach at 5 pm. Seriously. You’ll get enough sun during the race. You don’t want a sun burn before or after.
3. Treat your self to Virginia Beach’s signature drink
The Original Waterman’s Orange Crush: Fresh squeezed orange juice with orange vodka, triple sec and a splash of Sprite. The bar was crazy busy but the drink was oh so refreshing.
5. Check out the free concerts
Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair, a low one preferably. You will have to sit in the back but you are about to/just finished running so treat your booty right, lol. On Saturday night we saw the Cherry Poppin Daddies (of Zoot Suit Riot fame) for free. Sure, we stayed up a bit late the night before the race but it was worth it. The big concert is the night of the race, so you get time to go back to your hotel and take a nap. We got the concert early and enjoyed the food vendors. The race organizers do a presentation for the top runners. Our headliner this year was Train. Live music with your toes in the sand – there is nothing better! Oh yeah, and a firework display to top off the night.