Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon + VIP Experience Recap

Last month I got to run the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon as a member of the Rock ‘n’ Blog team.  As part of the team, I received a Global Tour Pass, which allows me to run any of their races worldwide (travel costs not included). I also received 1 complimentary VIP Experience upgrade for my choice of race.  

Having not been to the Pacific Northwest before, we decided to turn this into our summer family vacation and we added Portland and the Oregon coast to our trip.  I'll be sharing some of the highlights from our trip soon, but for now I'm just going to recap the race ;) 

We arrived at the expo for packet pickup early Saturday afternoon and it was super quick and easy to get my packet.  The expo was busy and felt a little crowded, but this is normal for such a big event.  I waited in a small line to pick up my VIP Pass.  I was super excited to check out the VIP experience since I'd never done it before and let me tell you, it was fancy! VIP Experiences range in price per event. The Pre-Race Experience begins at $45 and the full VIP Experience is $75+, with Las Vegas being the priciest of them all at over $200! This is in addition to the cost of the race registration.  

View from the Pre-Race VIP area

View from the Pre-Race VIP area

Here's what you get when you upgrade to VIP status + my experience from each of the perks. 

  • Reserved Parking: There was no on-site parking at the start line, so the reserved parking for this race was for parking at the shuttle area.  Since I was being dropped off, this did not really apply to me.
  • VIP Shuttles: Didn't use it since I was being dropped off, but it was super early and I want to say it was even earlier than the general shuttles.  
  • Private Gear Check: This was awesome! The gear check truck was located right by the VIP Lounge area both for the start and finish line! 
  • Pre-Race Continental Breakfast & Coffee: This was another great option.  They offered all the basic runner breakfast foods: bananas, peanut butter, muffins, bagels, yogurt parfaits, plus coffee, tea, water.  There were plenty of tables and chairs too.  
  • Private Restrooms: Worth it! Oh, so worth it! Indoor bathroom with no line and actual flushing toilets! That would have been good enough, but they also had feminine products, deodorant, hair spray, Vaseline, sunblock, wipes, etc.  Talk about being spoiled! For the Seattle venue, they offered the restrooms that were inside the stadiums and adjacent to the VIP area, inside the stadium.  
  • Private VIP Lounge: The set up was really nice and private. There was plenty of seating.  However, I will say that I'm not a real social butterfly, so it was kinda lonely. Normally, if I'm running alone the hubs will be with me for moral support and company until it's almost race time.  I did speak to a few other runners and such, but I think this would be way more fun with a friend or group.
  • Post-Race Massage: When I went over to check this out, there was a pretty long list of names ahead of me.  Since I didn't purchase VIP passes for my family that was waiting outside for me, I didn't want them to wait too much longer, so I didn't stay.  However, there were about 4 massage therapists and it looked like some legit massages.  Not chair massages and they were about 10-15 minutes long.
  • Yoga Stretching Area: They also had an area with mats for stretching and foam rollers.  I took advantage of this and loved it!
  • Post-Race Changing Tents: At the Seattle race they didn't offer the tents, but we were able to change in the indoor bathrooms in the stadium.  It was so awesome to just grab my bag from gear check and be able to change into clean dry clothes and freshen up! Seriously, it was awesome
  • Catered Buffet:  They offered a post-race brunch too at Seattle and I'm not sure if they offer this at every race but it was a great spread. They had fruits, salad, sandwiches, pasta, fish, bread, desserts! Lots of options to choose from!
  • VIP Bar: The Bar only had beer, but a mimosa would have been nice too! The beers were unlimited but I didn't want to be a lush, so I only had 2 :) 
  • Exclusive View of the Post-Race Concert: For Seattle this was awesome! Because the VIP area was at the top of the stadium stairs and the concert was at the bottom courtyard area, we had a great view of the entire post-race festival.  

So, is it worth the extra cost? In my opinion, yes, it can be worth it.  If you only run a few races or even just one race a year, if you have the extra funds and want to treat yourself, or as a gift from someone! It's definitely a fun experience to try at least once!

Now, on to the race itself.  It was a lot better than I expected.  Coming from Las Vegas, I was really enjoying the cool overcast weather and all the green!!! The course was beautiful and ran alongside the water and gorgeous homes.  It wasn't as hilly as I was expecting it to be and I was very grateful for that!  There weren't as many spectators on the on-course as other Rock N Roll races, but I still think it was a great race with plenty of entertainment, scenery, and fun! 

Gear check and then right up those stairs to VIP area or you can use the VIP elevator.  I'll let you guess which one I chose ;)

Gear check and then right up those stairs to VIP area or you can use the VIP elevator.  I'll let you guess which one I chose ;)

The post-race brunch spread! So tasty!!! 

The post-race brunch spread! So tasty!!! 

Great vantage point of the post-race concert! 

Great vantage point of the post-race concert! 

Have you ever purchased the additional VIP Experience package? What are your thoughts? Worth it? Wast of money? Would love to hear what you think! 

Summer Fun at Pinot's Palette

Last week I was invited to a fun family blogger painting event at Pinot's Palette in Boca Park.  This would be the first time the kiddos went to a painting event, so I was really excited to share this experience with them.  Jason and I had a blast the last time we painted together.  

The event was held in their "open studio" style.  We received a blank 10X10 canvas and we got to choose from lots of options which picture we would paint.  We got written instructions with step-by-set pictures and the specific colors of paint we'd need for our individual masterpieces.  They hold these types of classes once a month at each of their 3 studio locations throughout Las Vegas for only $20.  It's a fun and relaxed way to practice your painting in a less structured setting and the written instructions are easy to follow.  

At first, Diego was getting a little frustrated because his painting wasn't coming along exactly like the sample but, he chilled out after a bit and really enjoyed the process. And, his finished painting turned out really nice.  Elysse was intent on doing her painting with little help and I'm proud to say she did a great job all by herself.  We cannot wait to do it again soon! 

With our crazy hot summers here in Vegas, this is definitely a nice option for a family activity.  It allows you to unplug, enjoy time together as family, and it's indoors with A/C ;) They're also offering kids camp for ages 7+ this month! 

They're offering some discount codes for It's a Messy Life readers for July and August:

FamilyFun - By 3 seats to any Family Day class, get one free ($25 value)

DateNightFun - Buy one seat at any $39 public class, get one at half price ($19.50 value)

These codes are valid for each of their 3 locations at The District, Boca Park, and Town Square.  Check out their class schedule HERE.  Enjoy! 

Rock N Roll San Diego Remix Challenge | Race Recap

During the first weekend of June I completed my first Rock N Roll Marathon Series Remix Challenge in San Diego!  The Remix Challenge medal is earned when you complete two days of running during a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event. Any combination of distances qualifies for the Remix Challenge Medal. You need to complete one event on Saturday and one event on Sunday during the same Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event weekend.  I chose to run the 5K distance on Saturday and the half marathon distance on Sunday.  

 This is my first year as a member of the Rock ‘n’ Blog team and I am loving it so far! As part of the team I received a Global Tour Pass, which allows me to run any of their races worldwide (travel costs not included). My next tour stops will be Seattle, June 18th for the Half Marathon and  Las Vegas on November 11-12 for another Remix (5K and Half Marathon).  

We left a little later than we wanted to on Friday afternoon from Vegas, so we arrived for packet pickup with just under one hour before the expo closed.  The good thing about cutting it so close was that there was no line to get my packets :) I was given a specific wrist tag with my bibs and was explained that I was to wear it on Sunday’s race to pick up my Remix Challenge medal after the race (woohoo!).  Afterwards we walked around the Gaslamp Quarter and grabbed some sushi for dinner before checking in to our room and crashing! 

This was my first really big 5K event and it was a great experience. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was ready to have a good time. Although, I told myself I would take it slow, I couldn’t help but get carried away by all the excitement and I took off a little faster than I wanted to.  But after the first mile or so I slowed myself down and started to enjoy the sights of Balboa Park. Jason was right there cheering me on at the finish line and then we made our way to the beer tent.  As ya'll know, I am much more of a wine girl myself, but after a race there's nothing better than a cold beer.  Trust me on that one!

The rest of the day was spent doing a little shopping and catching a movie, which is a rare treat for us to do without the kiddos.  We then made our way to Ocean Beach for burgers and beers at Hodad's and to catch a glimpse of the ocean!  Do yourself a favor and check it out next time you're in the San Diego area.  It's got a great vibe and the burgers are delicious! 

The next day, was a little less relaxed, as thousands of half marathon and marathon runners made their way to the starting line.  But, it was still a Rock N Roll event and the atmosphere was one of fun, if not a little more focused on the longer distances to be conquered that day.  I know I was feeling nervous and excited too! The half marathon course was a blast and although my legs felt a little sluggish the first few miles, I found my groove and had a strong finish!  The best part of the race was running through the Normal Heights neighborhood, where the neighbors were out supporting the runners with everything from jolly ranchers to alcohol.  Loved the makeshift bars they set up serving beer, mimosas, and even shots of liquor! I chose to pass on the libations, but it was super entertaining to run by and see other brave runners take their shots! Another favorite was when we finally got the the nice downhill area along the park! Running downhill is my favorite, so a downhill finish was a great relief from an otherwise kinda hilly course.

As with all big races, the finish line area was crowded and busy.  Jason was looking out for me so we met up soon after.  We made our way to the festival area and to the Heavy Medal tent for my Remix Medal! And then of course, it was another race so another beer at the finish! It was also great to see some friends at the festival who had ran the relay race.  We chatted a bit with them before we had to get going to check out of our room and make our way back to Vegas! 

But, first we had to stop at our favorite Temecula winery, Wiens Family Cellars, for some wine tasting.  We brought a few bottles home with us too and way may have also signed up for their wine club (again!) 

If you’ve never ran the Remix Challenge, I definitely suggest you try it at least once.  Not only do you leave the weekend with 3 awesome medals, it really makes it for a fun-filled running weekend.  Plus, you get to doubly enjoy what the Rock N Roll Marathon races are all about: fun, community, bling, music, and just an all-around good time!  

Even though it was a weekend with 2 back to back races, the hubs and I still got to spend a much needed weekend away without the kiddos.  It was the perfect start to summer break and I think we may have to turn it into a yearly tradition, with or without a race ;)