I signed up for the Providence Rock n’ Roll half marathon because one of my bucket list goals is to run a race in every state. Turns out, the race was so much more than I ever expected. First my mom and Keith decided to come out so we could tour the city a bit. Then a close family friend got diagnosed with a brain tumor and I decided to run on his behalf for the American Cancer Society. The combination of an amazing race, beautiful city, being with family and running for a greater cause, made the weekend an unforgettable experience.
We stayed at the Marriot Courtyard Downtown (on Exchange Terrace), which was the perfect location. It is about three blocks from the race expo, a short walk to the start/finish of the race, and near popular attractions like Waterfire, Providence Place Mall and Federal Hill. Federal Hill also is home to some of the best Italian food (high carb!), that I’ve ever had. To get ready for the race we feasted on amazing pasta, pizza and cannolis. Many of the restaurants in Providence have also been on the Food Network. I had no idea Providence was known for having such great food, but I’m glad I got to experience it.
The race is well-organized, follows a gorgeous route and is filled with great crowds of cheering people. Only thing I would warn about, you have probably heard – Providence is very hilly. The first half of the route is pretty much up and down hills, and then it evens out a little bit. However, don’t be fooled. You can’t collect your medal until you run the last .1 miles uphill to the finish. If you aren’t ready for the full half-marathon, the race also offers a relay option. For me the race was near perfect. The weather cooled off a little in the morning, I had done my training and I was inspired to be running for the American Cancer Society. I had raised close to $2000 on behalf of Tim and been touched by the outpouring of support so many people offered. Each mile was fueled with a heartfelt thank you and the mindset to continue running for those who can’t. I had a shirt made with my slogan: “#beatitcancer.”
And the back of the shirt was dedicated to Tim and his team of supporters:
After crossing the finish line there were lots of cheers, a few tears and a mass consumption of Gatorade and carbs/protein. We listened to live music by Karmin, enjoyed some free beer and celebrated life. The entire training, fundraising and racing experience was amazing and I’m so thankful to everyone who supported me along the journey. I’d definitely recommend both this race and running for DetermiNation. The people I met throughout this process have forever impacted me and I thank the city of Providence for putting on a great race.
Once you are done racing, I recommend touring the surrounding area a bit. We enjoyed a day-trip to Newport for fresh lobster and beach time, a night in Pawtucket for a Pawtucket Sox minor league baseball game, and a visit to Battleship Cove. All-in-all, it was an amazing weekend and I will definitely be returning.
Here are a few pictures from our trip: