Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll Providence - the Pre-Run

Yesterday I set out to get to know the course for the Rock 'n' Roll Providence half marathon that I will be racing on Aug. 19th!

I do a good deal of my running in and around Providence so I am familiar with most of the roads, but not in the order they will be run in this race.  So it was very important for my mental game that I familiarize myself with the course.

There are portions of the course that repeat from the Cox Providence half marathon that is run in May.  But for this race we get to them a mile or two early.  When I hit miles 6-7 I was use to it being 8-9.  There was a certain amount of mental weight that hit me in that moment of realization.  Half way is a lot different from 5 miles to go! I don't want to get depressed mid race so I am happy I have already crossed that hurdle. 

Likewise I thought miles 2-4 was just one long hill.  Not true!  There is a lead off hill to get up onto Benefit Street then it levels out for quite a ways, even dipping down at points before kicking up again slightly after the Wholefoods on North Main Street. 

I was also really worried about the finish line hill.  There was a ton of complaining about it last year.  Yes it is steep, but it is short!  So my plan is just to kick it up that last hill and grab my medal!  I took about 90 photos during my run.  I know I won't be looking around quite this much on race day and neither will you so enjoy!

The Amtrak station at the start line.

The RI State Capital peeking through the trees. Looking left at the start line.

Looking back to our right from the start line.  
This is where the tent will be for the finish line band.

And we are off.  Looking back over my left shoulder for a view of the Capital. 
It won't be our last.  State Street

Here we go across the tracks!  Orms Street

There is a reason it is called Canal St.

There it is again - View 3!
Mile 1
We are back downtown. 
One of the court houses is behind that light poll. 
I am thinking Federal court.  South  Main Street

The monuments are in the parks along the river.

WWII Memorial

Shopping anyone?
Don't worry we won't have to run against traffic!

U turn and up onto Benefit Street.
Mile 2

Up the hill and into one of the oldest neighborhoods in this country! 
Want more info: stop in at the Roger Williams National Parks site on North Main.
Benefit Street

Bring on the New England churches - The Unitarian

Big doors, stained glass, steeples!

The Providence Athenaeum - Think library club!

Museum of Art - Rhode Island School of Design - RISD

Where there is art schools there is art!

Another steeple with sunflowers...

...and black eyed susans.

Watch out for Edger Allen Poe! 
He was know to walk these streets.

We are all Rock 'n' Roll Stars in this race!

Shot 4!

Zoomed in for shot 5!
Mile 3

Leaving Benefit Street behind we hit North Main and pass the University Heights Wholefoods. 
Know locally as the big Wholefoods!

Next up on the right is our local running shop "Rhode Runner"!

My current favorite running socks.

657 North Main if you need them.

Almost to the right hand turn off of North Main...

...passing Rochambeau...
...and the Jeremiah Dexter House c.1754

Mile 4

Get ready to hang a right and head up the hill!

About 2/3 of the way up the hill I thought I should take a picture looking back.  HILL!   Stenton Ave.

The kids were out on Brewster Street and I was wishing they would spray me with their giraffe.

Fresh road on 8th street.

There are great restaurants around the park...

...and a farmers market on Saturday mornings.
The kids can play in the park.

It will probably be too early for the Frozen Lemonade truck though.

Local RI beverages for sale at the market!

Mile 5

Out onto the Blackstone Boulevard for our drag south.

There's their number if you want to give them a call!

Broken down in the running/bike lane!

Old Trolley Shelter in the middle of the Boulevard.

It was one hot run!

Loving the shade of the Boulevard.
Mile 6

The flowers were also great.
Right before the left hand turn onto Irving Ave.
Mile 7

Down the hill we go - looking back up Gulf Ave.

What? You want us to run where? River Drive

I don't think we are going to make it through.

Around we go...

Don't worry we won't be shoulder to shoulder at this point...will we?
Mile 8

Looking down Gano Street.
Mile 9

India Point Park

That was a nice breeze off  the bay.  India Street

Bay tug - meets the boats in Newport and brings them up the bay.

The I-195 bridge - also know as the I-Way

Cool spot on a...

..Hot day!
Mile 10

Point Street Bridge

Downtown = Finish line

I want to live in this house!

It is me, me, me in the window of the Yena Center at Johnson & Wales University.

We are almost to Fulton Street.  Hang a right and run along Kennedy Plaza!
Mile 11

There is the other side of the court house.  Fulton Street

There is the State Courthouse with the steeple and the old Customs House on the left.   From Dyer Street
Mile 12

You might hear people talking about Waterfire. 
There are some of the cauldrons in the river.   South Water Street

They also do gondola rides!

And finally over there in the distance is the Providence Place mall and out finish line.   Memorial Boulevard

Over there...just up the hill from those blue awnings.
Mile 13.1

Last year the finish line was right in front of P. F. Chang's.  Francis Street

We are finished! Capital view 6!

Just so you know the last bridge we cross at the finish is the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge!

Looking around after I finished I noticed the time on the Amtrak station tower...

...and the capital - shot 7!
It really was high noon on a hot and humid day!  Even the clock was sweating!

Walking back to my car I could not help but reflect on the three steeples in a row!
So that is what I've got!  I know it is a ton of photos, but it is a great look at what you can see if you look around while you are running the Rock 'n' Roll Providence half marathon.  Of course we probably will not be looking around this much.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures and I will see you on the 19th!

And for the elevation chart from my run:

Even though I ran that final hill climb it does not show on the elevation chart.  I am not sure what is up with that!


  1. Awesome preview. I missed a lot of the sights last year in the pouring rain. Hopefully this year I'll get a chance to see what I'm running past ;)
    Good luck on Sunday!

    1. Last year I logged you (and all the other runners) in at the finish line. Handheld computer in the pouring rain = memorable! Anyway...this year I am working the expo on Saturday in the RunningSkirts booth and actually running the race on Sunday! Stop by if you are hitting the expo on Saturday!

  2. thanks for the nice description. it's a big help as im starting to prepare for the race this year 2013

  3. thanks for the nice description. it's a big help as im starting to prepare for the race this year 2013

    1. Glad you liked it! I can't wait to see how the date change this year impacts the race. August to Sept...what will the weather bring?