The #RNRNOLA Recap That Wasn’t

After spending many months blogging about Rock N Roll New Orleans, I was really, really bummed I couldn’t actually run it. I’ve done the race since it’s inaugural event and hope to do it year after year. I love making an annual trip to Nola.

Even without me running, I knew we would be going. P was running and so were our three friends Tiffany,David, and John. It was going to be a weekend with friends either way as well as Tiffany and Davids first half marathon.

P and I arrived on Friday and did the exact same thing as last year. Oysters at Dragos and shopping on Magazine street. We changed up dinner and ate at Couchon-which was amazing! I was a major fail in the camera department and left my good camera in Atlanta-so only iphone photos all weekend. We had to split up our hotels and stay somewhere different on Friday night than the rest of the weekend. Turns out it was the pro-runner hotel as well. I managed to spot Shalane from the bar walking through the lobby. Figured it would be a bit stalker-like if I ran out and said hello but I was obviously in runner heaven. Unfortunately, we never ran into anyone again before we left for the other hotel.

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We woke up Saturday for beignets and then the expo.

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I knew the expo would be hard for me. P was a good sport and listened to me whine about not being able to run and mope around. He was also super supportive and hung around the expo for an extra hour so that I could hear Kara Goucher speak.

IMG_3095She’s so down to earth, absolutely stunning, and maintains complete grace and normalcy while returning from her injury. There were lots of Q&A’s about her running, training, goals, and competition. She basically eats what she wants, her easy pace and mileage are my dreams and is focusing on Boston. RNR Nola was her first race post heel injury.

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I finally met Holly for the first time too. We waited in line to get our autographs, met fellow blogger Leah (first time being recognized from the blog), and had our moments with Kara.

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After Kara had mentioned NUUN the same week of the race, I felt it appropriate for her to sign my NUUN tube since it happened to be in my purse. Super cool to now have met her and Shalane.

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Post expo we spent time hanging out in the city and later having dinner with our friends. I woke up with P and we met Tiffany and David and I walked with them to the start. My goal was to find Holly’s mom and spectate with her and hitch a ride to the finish line after we saw everyone cross. I ended up “running” from the start to the mile 2 and 7 area. I actually didn’t have pain and kinda wondered if I should’ve just run the race.

Within a few minutes we saw the elites go by and it really was a cool thing to see. I’m usually behind them, not watching them. I saw Holly and P (but he didn’t see me) and we crossed the street to watch at mile 7. I got some pretty cool shots of Shalane and Kara, saw Holly again and we were off to the finish line.

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I got there just in time to find my friend Bradley and we watched her husband John set a PR. A few minutes later I got to cheer on P as he set his new PR too! I got pretty emotional watching the finish-partly because it was hard to watch, the other because it’s really cool to see people giving it there all out there. We somehow missed Tiffany and David finish, but they both did great for their first 1/2 marathon.

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We spent the rest of the day doing what you do in NOLA, eating and drinking.

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I love NOLA. I hope that next year will be different and I will actually get to run it, but either way, this year was still a blast.

Ever seen the elites race? How often do you spectate vs. run a race?

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Elizabeth

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14 Comments

  • I watched the elites race at the trials in Houston last year. It was so inspiring. I think that Shalane is a pretty runner…she seems so graceful. You could say I am a little jealous of her perfect form. If I saw her at the hotel I totally would have stalked her! I have seen Shalane race in Spokane at cross country nationals a couple of years ago too.
    Kara beat me in Portland last year. 😉

  • What a great experience you had with meeting Kara and seeing the elite athletes! I love that Kara signed the Nuun tube! Haha! I’ve never seen or met any elite runners and I’ll be totally star struck when I do!

  • I think getting to watch the elites as well as obtain Kara’s autograph made up for not being able to run…. not to just protect that Nuun bottle 😉

    P is a great photographer by the way, how awesome to capture the moment while you’re on stage with her.

  • I have never gotten to see elites race but hope I do someday. Maybe for the 2016 trials? I think seeing them would be amazing – it’s been so long since the US even had multiple female elite runners to watch!
    I really want to go back to NOLA one of these days. Seeing your pictures brought back such good memories,

  • I get sad spectating instead of running too. I had foot surgery one year & missed out on the run to home base at Fenway while some friends were running & it was sad. But when I spectated the WDW half the day before my full to watch my mom it was awesome! I loved watching the wheelchair athletes & elites go by. I hope your feeling better & back to running soon!

  • I’ve only spectated a few races, usually ones I’m helping with, so none of the big ones. It still looks like you made the most of your New Orleans trip!

  • You did a great job keeping your chin up and taking it all in! I have a hard time spectating if I’m injured, but I love to spectate when healthy, especially if it means watching elites.

    Kara has the most interesting form…always looks like she is struggling big time, even though she is killing the paces.

  • Wow, that’s so awesome you met Kara, I really like her!!! Great shots of the elites too. I’m not sure if I ever watch elites, usually they already in the airplane when I make it to the finish line 🙂

  • I have never seen an elite in a race but I live in Portland where Shalene and Kara live. I have seen them at the track before. They are so fast!! I have met Kara at a few expos!
    I usually do not spectate. I like to run or volunteer!

  • It looks like it was a great trip race or no race for you. I’ve only been to NO once and I think I need to go back again. I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot!

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