One day, I will actually post a race review within a respectable time frame. Today is not that day. But hey, I’m still under the two-week mark, so, win!
I loved this race. There. Review over. Thanks for reading.
Kidding! But, in all seriousness, this was a fantastic race. It was my first 5K (why, yes. I have run 3 half-marathons, a marathon and a relay race without ever having run a 5K. Good life choices, people!), and my only real hope was to finish and not embarrass myself too badly (speed demon, I am not).
I’ve avidly avoided 5ks throughout my short running career for a two reasons. One, I simply prefer longer distances. But two, I’m not fast. I am certainly faster than I was a year ago, but I get a little rage-y when I read posts by bloggers saying things like “OMG, such a slow day today. I could only run 7:30 miles”. Excuse me? You could manage only 7:30 miles? Quiet, you. If I all-out sprint I can reach that sort of pace. Jealous, much? Totally not at all. Not jealous at all.
But it was the teacher’s first race and try as I might I could not convince him that a half-marathon makes a great first race. So 5K it was. I hit up runwashington.com, a great resource for races in the DC area, and 10.2 seconds later we were registered for the Run Me Home 5K.
We picked up our packets on the Friday before the race. Packet pick-up was held at a small, local running store in the area. The process was a breeze. Because it was a smaller race, there only 2-3 people in line ahead of us.
Smaller races typically don’t have the major swag that larger races can acquire. This race still had nice, albeit cotton t-shirts (in yellow, my favorite color!), and a few coupons to local restaurants.
We didn’t arrive until just before the start, so I can’t say much about the entertainment. They had enough porta-potties to manage the number of runners participating. Even with 5 minutes to go before the start I was able to grab one without waiting in line.
The event had three races. A 10K, which started first, a 5K, and kid’s fun run to wrap it up. The start was a free-for-all, but as the race was smaller it wasn’t too bad. If we had arrived earlier we would have been in a better starting position, but as we arrived with just a few minutes to spare we ended up towards the back of the start and spent the first few minutes weaving around those who were walking.
The course was lovely. It started at an elementary school in Leesburg so you spent the first 3/4 of a mile on the road. The course then wended its way to one of my favorite places to run, the W&OD Trail. The race organizers did a wonderful job blocking off traffic while we were running on the road so you never felt unsafe. It was a semi-out-and-back course. You turned around on the W&OD Trail (probably around mile 2 or 2.25) but once we exited the trail the last 1/4 mile ran up a different road to the finish (start line and finish line were in the space spot).
For a smaller race, this one had a fantastic finish area. Plenty of food options (bananas, donuts, danishes), water, and freebies. There was also a trivia game taking place, but we didn’t partake. The party atmosphere was definitely in place and I wish we had stuck around a bit longer.
I know photos don’t matter to everyone, but as this was the teacher’s first race I was really hoping for a couple of good shots. The race photographers delivered. They had quite a few photographers (at the start, on the course, at the finish), and we ended up with some great shots including this gem:
Overall, this was a great little local race (and the entry fee was quite reasonable!) If they host it again next year, I’ll be back to run it!
Any DC-area runners, if you’re looking for an upcoming 5K I’m serving as a race director for the Save the Trail! 5K on Saturday, May 25 and would love to see you out there! If you’re interested, you can register here. I promise I’m not too awkward in real life. Ok, I actually can’t make that promise…I’m pretty awkward.
Any favorite race memories?
What was the distance of your first race?