The expo for the RnR Raleigh Marathon and Half Marathon was in some respects an extravaganza. The gear pick up was orderly, and I actually liked the Brooks race shirt design a lot. There were all the expected exhibitors as well as some live presentations. Lots of bling. Some of the RnR staff used to work for the New York Road Runners, and it’s always nice to see them. Some of my favorite items, such as Newton and Hoka One One shoes were represented! There were also some booths with items I don’t usually see at marathons expos, such as fish and eggs! I didn’t buy anything, but the expo was festive and fun!
The marathon itself was very nice albeit hot and hilly. The start was orderly – each corral of 1000 starting every minute or so. The half marathon and full marathon began together with the races splitting at about mile 9.
The course was hilly and the temperature was hot. My pace slowed to a stroll, but I still enjoyed myself taking in the scenery.
and sometimes seeing friends (the course was largely out and back, which is conducive to people watching and friend spotting). Oh look, there’s George!
My only large complaint was that the organizers somehow forgot to set up any water stops between around mile 14 and 17. On such a hot day, an error like that is not excusable.
I stayed at the Raleigh Sheraton, which was a perfect choice. The staff couldn’t have been nice and the accommodations couldn’t be better. The hotel even gave us a late checkout, something that is really, really important to me after a marathon.
The start and the finish of the marathon was right in front of the hotel – here’s a view from my window.
and here’s a photo of the lobby and my room.
I highly recommend the Sheraton!