July 6, 2022

Heading to Rock n Roll San Francisco: Tips for Rocking a Destination Race

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the United Airlines Rock n Roll San Francisco 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!

In just a few weeks, I’ll be hopping on another plane heading south to sunny California… San Francisco to be exact! I will be running the United Airlines Rock n Roll San Francisco Half Marathon and I couldn’t be more excited. This year there will be a an enhanced experience for runners. This includes new mile & aid station markers, more music, and an even better finish line experience with pizza and massages. There will be more to see and love and I’m glad Rock n Roll has upped their game. I can’t wait to see what they came up with. Here are some details about the race:

New mile markers

When: Sunday, April 8, 2018
Start Time: 6:15 AM
Expo: Friday-Saturday, April 6-7, 2018 at Pier 35

Rock n Roll Marathon Series also worked with Spotify and if you take this quiz, it will match you with a playlist to help inspire you to nab that PB. You can check out all their available playlists here. The most exciting to me is Rock n Roll San Francisco’s brand new course, as you can see below:

New 2018 Rock n Roll San Francisco half marathon course

I’m looking forward to seeing what this new course has to offer. What I love is that I’ll be experiencing this for the first time alongside everyone. The out and back on the Golden Gate Bridge is still there at least 😛

Don’t forget to follow me on Athlinks. You’ll see my results there once the race is over. Sign up for your own account as well and consolidate all your race results onto 1 website!

Epic weather and scenery.

Destination Race Prep

My last few vacations involved a race or run of some kind: Paris Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Hot Chocolate 15K Seattle, and Rock n Roll Las Vegas, to name a few… I’ve learned a thing or two about packing and planning a destination race vacation and I’d love to share it with you.

At the Rock n Roll Las Vegas expo
  • Pack for all weather conditions – Bring a long sleeve, rain jacket, singlet, t-shirt, shorts, leggings, thin socks, and thick socks because you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you on race day. Just make sure they are clothes you’ve raced in before so you know if they’re comfortable or not.

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  • Plan your hotel location where it’s convenient – I would recommend finding a hotel near a transit station or near the finish line so the hobble home won’t take too long. Also plan on being near breakfast. Whether it’s a grocery store or a coffee shop, make sure you can grab the fuel you need.
  • Remember to acclimatize or get rid of jet lag – I learned about this the hard way. I arrived in Paris a couple days before race day and that proved disastrous. For Berlin, I made sure that race day was a week after arriving in Europe so I was able to adjust. This will also be helpful if your race is in a much colder or hotter environment. It would help to go on a few runs before race day to get a feel for the conditions.

  • Bring your own fuel/hydration drink – Depending on where you go, you might not find your desired brand. It’s best to bring whatever bars, gels, chews, and hydration from home. Just put them in a ziplock bag and don’t forget to bring extra. This is what I love about using Nuun. The tubes are so compact and what I do is pre-split the tabs and pack it in the same tube. (I only use half a tablet per Salomon soft flask.) Easy-peasy!
  • Bring the required documents – Paris wanted a doctor’s note and both that race and Berlin required you to bring your passport to get your bib. Read all your pre-race emails carefully and make sure you obtain all the documents you need. The last thing you want is getting to your destination and not being able to race because of a missed document.

  • Pack light – If you can get away with packing everything in a carry-on bag, do it. You will love not having to wait for your checked luggage to come out on the carousel.
  • Get there early enough to pick up your package – The earlier you get to the expo, the better. Getting to the expo in Berlin on the first day was a great idea as I heard it got super busy in the following days. If you’re arriving on the same day as when the expo ends, make sure you arrive hours before it closes. You have to take into account possible flight delays or traffic.
I get to travel to SF with Amanda!

Hope these tips helped you prepare for your next destination race. Let me know in the comments below where your next destination race will be or what your dream destination race is. Check out my Instagram and Twitter to follow along my Rock n Roll San Francisco journey.

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