Let's be honest, trying to find your family and friends after a large race can be kind of a marathon in itself. One of the perks of the VIP area is that there are a lot less people roaming around and you have a definite spot to meet up with your family & friends after the race.
Momma K and I were both running together today, so meeting up before/after wasn't an issue, but I was able to meet a lot of new runner friends both before an after the race while enjoying some breakfast. Sitting at a table and chairs is a lot more comfortable than sitting on the grass or sidewalk while waiting for the race to start. Hey, you are about to rock your run, you might as well be comfortable a bit beforehand.2
I always appreciate races that offer gear check. They are great to keep a post race shirt/jacket, phone charger, your sandals, etc waiting for you afterwards. After a race the thought of standing in a long line to collect my bag is the last thing that I want to do. When you are a Rock 'n' Roll VIP, you get a private gear check. That's right, there are only a small number of bags and no long line to deal with afterwards. Yes, please. The best part about today's VIP gear check was that it was covered. Yea, you know that pop-up storm that came through when I was at mile 9? Our bags stayed nice and dry. Now I can get moving and take some selfies, eat, or just chill a bit. The VIP area also had changing tents available. This is a nice little touch for those that want to change out of their race clothes before leaving the race area to head home, back to the hotel, or even to explore Chicago a bit.
Waiting in line for restrooms can be annoying, especially before a race. Face it, you probably feel the same way. There is nothing that can cause more anxiety than needing to take a last minute restroom trip before heading to the corrals only to find a MASSIVE line waiting for the port-o-potty. Thanks to the Rock 'n' Roll VIP package, you have access to private restrooms. There were no lines, and had a little "freshen up" station with any last minute toiletries that you might need (spray deodorant, sunscreen, vaseline, and other hygiene products. Just another great perk to being a VIP.
No doubt that runners need to eat. Heck, some of love to eat so much that we dream of that epic post race meal mid-race. Ok, maybe that is just me. HAHA! When you are a Rock 'n' Roll VIP you are treated to a pre-race breakfast including bagels, bananas, water, coffee, etc. I am a big creature of habit when it comes to my pre-race routine (plus you don't want to try anything new on race day), so I mainly just enjoyed the beverages with my protein bar. If you are one though that enjoys a peanut butter bagel or bananas before hand, having this readily available to you before heading out to the corrals is pretty sweet - especially if you traveled to the race.
Post-race, it was GAME ON! After crossing the finish line, I headed back to the VIP tent refuel. There were so many hearty and great options to choose from: bacon, brownies, sausage, fruit and sandwiches. It was awesome to get done with my race and have something more than a banana from the finisher's chute to tie me over until I could get somewhere to eat.
Whether you ran a super flat course or one made up of 'super-sized speed bumps', your muscles could definitely use a little TLC after your race. Seriously, this is a priceless perk to the VIP package if you ask me. Yes, a lot of races offer post-race massages/stretching, but they typically come at a fee or have really long lines which are often full by the time middle of the pack runners finish.
Prices of Rock 'n' Roll VIP packages very between locations and perks may also vary. To upgrade your race day experience you are looking at around $70-90/person, but if you are wanting to add a little bit of extra hospitality and feeling like a true 'rock star' I highly recommend at least trying it once.