Was it going to rain, was it going to just be cloudy or would we luck out and get a sunny spring day for the race? Those were the questions that my friends and I kept going over as we prepared to fly to Washington, DC last weekend. The good news is that the weather cooperated for 2 of our 3 days in DC… the bad news is that the day it didn’t cooperate was the day we were running! For 2 of us, it would be our first Rock ‘n’ Roll race, so we were excited to get to the city and see what all of the hype has been about. If you ask my friends, they will probably make fun of me for how I critique the races for their logistic planning (or lack thereof in some cases), so they were interested to see if Rock ‘n’ Roll could hold up to my standards – and they certainly didn’t disappoint!
The race expo was held in the convention center and was very well laid out. We went early Friday afternoon, so we were a little concerned that it might be pretty crowded, and while there were a lot of people there, I never felt claustrophobic or that there wasn’t enough room to get into the booths I was interested in checking out. One of our friends was working the expo and directed us to register to win a free trip / entry to RnR Dublin (yes, please!). Overall, I think we all made it out of the expo without spending too much, other than picking up a few last-minute things for the race (yay cheap gloves!) – I picked up some St. Patrick’s day-themed half marathon temporary tattoos for race day and a couple new Bondi Bands. I also registered to win an entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon / Half Marathon for the second time (I originally tried at the Thunder Road expo) and I still didn’t win, but I think that’s okay. This race will definitely end up on my bucket list, but not running it this year won’t be the end of the world. Those of us who were running the half marathon also decided to move to the same corral so that we could all run together, so we decided to meet in the middle of our assigned corrals and start in #20 (out of 31).
The rest of Friday was spent getting organized, picking up ponchos for the race start and eating some Italian food. Race morning came, and of course, it was raining, but it did go from 100% chance of rain for the entire morning to lessening after an hour or so and while it was cold, it was only raining a little bit, so I did appreciate that it wasn’t a total downpour. Since the race start and finish lines were about 4 miles apart, there were UPS trucks for everyone to drop their stuff off in and luckily all of our names are in the first half of the alphabet, so we didn’t have far to go to get to our assigned trucks and then head over to the corrals. The race officially started at 7:30, but our corral started right around 8:00.
- Mile 1 – 11:03
- Mile 2 – 10:49
- Mile 3 – 11:09
- Mile 4 – 11:09
- Mile 5 – 20:29 <– bathroom break
- Mile 6 – 11:04
- Mile 7 – 12:03
- Mile 8 – 11:07
- Mile 9 – 10:36
- Mile 10 – 11:29
- Mile 11 – 11:06
- Mile 12 – 11:06
- Mile 13 – 10:32
- Last .43 – 13:08 <– probably not accurate… I don’t think I stopped my watch when I crossed the finish line
Overall pace: 11:58
The course was fairly hilly, including a pretty steep one around mile 6 that luckily had a lot of crowd support as it was the designated Blue Mile that paid tribute to fallen service members with large poster boards with their pictures and information on them as well as volunteers holding flags for each person.
As we came into the finish line, we started picking up the speed and as I did, I hit one of my water bottles and knocked it out of my water belt, so I’m now down one water bottle!. 🙁 After the race, we headed over to pick up our gear and then we made our way to the closest Metro station and had about a 30 minute wait until we were able to get on the train. That was definitely the worst part of the day and we were all pretty cold and miserable by the time we made it back to the hotel. The race swag was pretty good, with a nice tribute to the Lincoln Memorial on the front of the medal.
Tune in tomorrow for a picture tour of my trip to the DC mall and an unexpected St. Patrick’s Day parade!