Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Recap: Remember the Alamo?

My last half marathon of the year was the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon, held on Sunday. This was the first time I had brought my family with me on a half marathon “runcation” – and also a big weekend for me for other reasons.

I had kind of a crazy weekend running the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Find out what the course - and the VIP experience - was like in this post!

Note: I received complimentary race entry and VIP access in exchange for an honest review of the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. All opinions are my own.

The Expo

We arrived on Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel, and then my sister, my son, and I headed over to the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon (and Marathon) expo to grab my bib and check out the “merch,” as he put it. Check in went very smoothly. However, I was a little disappointed at the expo itself. It seemed thin; there were definitely not as many vendors in San Antonio as there were in Nashville. They could have all been fatigued from The Running Event in Austin (more on that later this week!), or maybe there wasn’t enough of an incentive. 

The Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

After a day of exploring San Antonio with my brother, my sister, and my husband and children, I woke up bright and early for the half marathon. Well, kind of bright and early; I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then dozed off with the crust still in my hand. Not good. 

Anyhow. I had VIP access for this race, which had the potential to be awesome. But right away I knew it wasn’t going to be great; the lines for the bathrooms were so long that it was literally faster to dash across the street and use the porta-potties, of which there were plenty. (So chalk one up in the “plenty o’porta-potty” column.) I had to abandon my brother in the VIP section to do this, so I didn’t see him until after the race. (My sister decided not to run after careful deliberation.)

I shockingly was able to weasel my way up to Corral 6, even though my bib said Corral 7. There was almost no corral control! I found Melissa and felt incredibly relieved to see a friendly face from home; I was still so nervous about running because of my Chipotle-induced bacterial infection last time. Just a couple minutes with Melissa helped reassure me. After we started, she surged ahead. I focused on keeping a 9-minute mile. I haven’t been training for speed, not with this bad knee.

Remember how I said the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon had what seemed like no corral control? I spent literally the first mile bobbing and weaving around people who had no business being in Corral 6 or faster. They were walking, most of them in the middle of the course. It’s poor race etiquette to line up in a corral where you don’t belong, and it’s even poorer race etiquette to walk right in the middle of the course. For the love of Jove, get off to the side! Ridiculous. 

Edited to add: Apparently the Rock N Roll organization supports this poor race etiquette. From a Brand Ambassador who took issue with my post about walking:

Well, RnR doesn’t seem to have issue with it as they approve it, so I’m not sure what exactly to tell you. You might want to pursue other race series where the corrals are more enforced and you have to prove a time to be seeded.

Brand Ambassador

So that’s my last Rock N Roll race ever, I guess.

But overall, the course was fantastic! It was mostly flat and full of great crowd support. I don’t think there was a single stretch during the half marathon where there weren’t cheering crowds, or at least people cheering. Aid stations were spaced just about right, perfect for my “walk through the water stops” strategy. The hardest hill was at mile 7.5; that was the one with pictures of our fallen soldiers, the section where we run to remember them. I literally teared up when I ran. 

I won’t lie; I fought for those last three miles. My legs felt like lead, and I had a hard time just keeping them moving. But when I got closer to the finish, I knew I had to push. My husband and kids were waiting, and I refused to let them see me suffering. So for the last quarter mile, I plastered on what I think was a grin (it could have been a grimace, too) and pushed through the lead legs. My finish time was 1:57:57, again, not a personal best, but still respectable. Also, for some reason I thought the course went past the Alamo, but it did not.

I had kind of a crazy weekend running the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Find out what the course - and the VIP experience - was like in this post!
My brother took this picture because he is awesome.

After reuniting with my family (including my brother and sister), my brother and I headed back to the VIP area to get food.

And here’s where I got annoyed: they had run out of bacon and egg breakfast tacos, and also were out of bacon and eggs. I was informed that there would be no more food until 11 a.m., when they were serving lunch. (It was about 9:45 or so when we got there.) I pretty much went into full-on hangry mode, and I was promised bacon and eggs. That took almost 40 minutes. The VIP area needs to have food constantly, not just at arbitrary times.

Meanwhile, the massage that was supposed to have only a 25-minute wait ended up being more like 45 minutes, so I had to bail on it since we wanted to get on the road back to Houston before lunch. So I definitely wasn’t pleased with the VIP area – that turned out to be the biggest letdown of the whole experience. I wouldn’t do VIP again, honestly.

Overall, though, I did enjoy the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon course. I’m glad that I got to experience two Rock N Roll races this year (I ran Nashville in April), even if they weren’t my best races by far and a Brand Ambassador got snippy with me for suggesting people that walk need to get off the fast part of the cours. I loved that San Antonio is close enough to drive, and I’m sad that the Rock N Roll race is gone from Dallas indefinitely (that was on my list).

So, here’s to Half Marathon #15 in the books! And apparently my last Rock N Roll race ever.


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