2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Mile on the Sand and Expo Recap

Disclaimer: As a Rock ‘n’ Blogger I received complimentary entry into this past weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll races.  As always, all opinions are my own.

This past Saturday I kicked off the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach weekend fun with a new to me race – the Mile on the Sand.  When I decided to sign up for this race I thought to myself, “How hard can it be to walk a mile on the beach if I’m wearing shoes?”

In anticipation of the Mile on the Sand, I completed a couple of mile (or longer) walks on the beach when we were in Florida last month.  And those walks were completed barefoot.  Granted, my walks were down by the ocean and on a Gulf Coast beach as opposed to on an Atlantic Coast beach, but still, I thought that those walks would prepare me for this race.  Boy was I ever wrong.

Since we arrived in Virginia Beach Friday night after the expo had closed for the day, we arrived at the oceanfront well in advance of the 8:30 a.m. race start time so that I could pick up my bib.  Bib pickup was a breeze, and less than five minutes after arriving my bib was pinned to the front of my shirt.  Unlike with the half marathon, the Mile on the Sand was self seeded.  There were signs posted ranging from seven minute mile pace up to 12 minute mile pace.  I lined up towards the back of the 11 minute mile pace group figuring, there was no way that this race would be that difficult.

pace sign

Just before 8:30 the National Anthem was sung, and then race officials slowly started moving participants towards the start line.  During last year’s inaugural race there had been an issue with overcrowding on the sand which resulted in sand flying everywhere.  As a result, the corrals were nicely spaced out this year, and as I slowly made my way towards the start line I not only got to see people start the race but finish it as well since it was an out and back course.

start line

Just before 9:00 a.m. I crossed the start line, and as soon as I started walking the race I knew it would be anything but easy.  My shoes quickly filled with sand, which caused my toes to become very squished, and made walking in the sand even more difficult.  The further I walked, the more I realized just how much of a calf and leg workout this race was going to be, but I kept on trucking and moving forward.

walking on the sand

I eventually reached the halfway point, and started making my way back towards the start/finish area.  Despite how difficult the race itself wound up being, I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery of the race.  If I could, I’d go to the beach every day of my life, so completing a race on the beach was a dream come true.  I crossed the finish line at 17:56, by far one of my slowest walking paces ever.  But it didn’t matter since I was at the beach.

finish line

After crossing the finish line I received my medal, water, and a couple of snacks, and quickly met back up with Preston.  I also retrieved my beach towel, and then we headed out towards the ocean to take some post race pics before making the almost mile walk back to the convention center where we had parking our car.

mile on the sand

towel and medal

We arrived back at the convention center shortly after the expo had opened for the day.  After quickly changing my shirt in the bathroom, we headed into the expo to retrieve our half marathon bibs for the next morning.  Like what we’ve experienced at previous Rock ‘n’ Roll expos, the expo was well organized and the lines for bib pickup were either short or non-existent.  We browsed the official merchandise, but were underwhelmed by this year’s selection.  Preston usually likes to get a pint glass to commemorate his major races, but for whatever reason there weren’t any pint glasses available for purchase at RnRVB this year.  The one item that did catch my eye was a Rock ‘n’ Roll onesie, which I thought was adorable and perfect for our little guy since this was his first half marathon.  However, the price tag was a huge turnoff, and with how quickly babies grow I decided that the cute onesie wasn’t just worth the price.

rnr onesie

After picking up our bibs and browsing the official merchandise we walked around the expo for about half an hour or so, but in general felt underwhelmed by this year’s expo vendors.  It also seemed as though there were fewer vendors there than in years past, and the one and only purchase of the day that we made was a pair of Nike Tempo shorts for me that were on super sale at the Sports Authority booth.

Despite the lack luster feel of this year’s expo, it was overall a great morning and a great way to kick off race weekend.

QOTD: Have you ever run or walked a race that you thought would be a walk in the park but turned out to be otherwise?

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51 Responses to 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Mile on the Sand and Expo Recap

  1. Great job on the mile in the sand. We did it last year and it was alot harder than what we thought it was going to be as well. They should’ve had it closer to the ocean where the sand is firmer. That would have been a bit easier. I didn’t think the Expo was as good as years past either.

  2. I loved the mile on the sand when we did it last year! And they offer such great swag for just one mile! I debated on wearing shoes but in the end I wore them cus I was afraid that some one else wearing shoes might accidentally stomp on me! -M

  3. Lesley says:

    Over time I’ve lost interest in expos since I see the same vendors all the time. Unless I need something for the upcoming race, I only browse the booths and then head out with my race gear and bib.

  4. Walking or running in the sand is so killer on the calves. I didn’t know you could pick up Rock n Roll bibs day of if you needed to! I might have to do that in Vegas.

  5. do you think it would’ve been easier with no shoes? i always debate shoes v no when i’m working out on the beach…

  6. cassi9879 says:

    That’s the first I’ve heard of self-seeding. How would you even begin to guess where you’d be?

  7. Chaitali says:

    I’ve heard that running on sand is a lot harder than you would think so I’m definitely wary of it now. That onesie is adorable!

  8. mkadens1 says:

    Good on you for getting it done! Sand is it’s own special animal.

  9. I am impressed by sand running, I think u would just sink in! I do like nice softer dirt trails though. I’ve definitely run races I thought would be easier, mostly when it turns out to be either way cooler or hotter than expected.

  10. Pingback: Mile In The Sand 2015 | Train With Bain

  11. I had to walk the last half of the last marathon I did because my sister was injured and I didn’t want to leave her. Tell you what…being out on the road twice as long is NO joke…it was SO hard to regain momentum run/walking for me. Great job!!!!

  12. Great job! Sand is no joke! I had a 10k a few weeks back that I thought would be a breeze, but the day ended up being so hot that I was suffering through the whole thing. Whomp whomp.

  13. Very cute onsie! Great job you inspire me!

  14. Carmyy says:

    whoa! I don’t think I’d be able to run that! Sand is no joke and always take a lot out of me. Way to go!

  15. Emily Knight says:

    Running and walking in the sand is no joke! You did great. Love your running for two top!!

  16. Now that is a fun idea, that mile on the sand! I’d be all over that! Great job!

  17. SharitaFit says:

    Great post! Love the onesie. You can so just print a similar design yourself on a blank onesie hahaha! Congrats on a great race.

  18. I think I’d have to be shoeless to even try it. I can’t stand sand in my shoes LOL (and I kind of hate the beach, so the whole idea is torture.)

  19. natrunsfar says:

    Congrats on the race!! Looks like so much fun and challenging also. You are staying in such great shape!! You look awesome! 🙂

  20. wow…so you got a medal for a one mile walking race? How cool is that?!?! So, did you do the half the next day as well? I can’t say that I’ve ever had a race that I thought would be easy…I expect them all to be hard. lol may have had the opposite experience though…but not too frequent.

  21. A sandy mile is no joke!!! You did a great job!!! Anytime I run on the sand Iknowit is going to be super hard.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Great job – I’ve never run on the beach…didn’t know how tough it would be!

  23. Honestly, walking on sand kicks my butt. And forget about running on it! You look AWESOME, BTW!

  24. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Yea, I heard this expo wasn’t the greatest. Kind of disappointing I’m sure! And good call on the onesie, they do grow SO fast!!

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