On Saturday May 21, myself and 177 other runners ran the DC Capital Striders 8K on the C&O Canal. The weather was ridiculously hot and humid, but a good time was had by all!
Wearing Bib #1, for the first time ever, I ended up taking first female and finishing 11th overall [11 is my favorite number]. I also set a new PR which made me happier than winning!
Ease of parking: We chose to park in a parking garage a couple minute walk from Georgetown Running Company. The cost was $10. The extra money was worth it to me to park fast, have my car be safe, and be close to Key Bridge so I could make a quick exit from Georgetown when we wanted to leave.
Ease of packet pick up: They had several options for packet pick up. I chose to pick up my packet pre-race at Georgetown Running Company because my husband also needed to get some new running shoes. There was no one in line and overall it took about 2 minutes to get my number, shirt, and reusable race bag.
Ease of getting to the start: The start was a 5 minute walk from Georgetown Running Company and very easy to get to. There was plenty of room at the start for my husband and children to set up and hang out before the race. The view of the Potomac River was a bonus!
Course: The course is an out and back on the C & O Canal. The surface is flat and soft, which makes it very easy on your legs. I spent most of the race looking down at the ground, so I wouldn’t trip on any rocks, but I’ll take looking down any day over multiple turns.
I like to take away something from every race I run. If I learn something I consider it a success.
What I learned: Though I PR’ed I think it is hard for me to expect my best performance to happen at night since I do not typically run at that time. The weather was warmer than I would have liked so instead of feeling fast, I felt sluggish. That being said, this race got me excited for my future summer training. If I am capable of PR’ing when I feel like my head is going to explode from the heat, then I think with hard work, and cooler temperatures in the fall I will be able to meet some of my running goals. [I'm dreaming big]
How I knew it would be a good race: On Thursday of last week I attempted for the 3rd time that week to PR at the mile while pushing both of my sons in the double stroller[since I am not currently training for anything specific - I feel like I can run whatever runs I want to run]. I again lowered my PR from a 6:34 to a 6:16 - confirming to me that limits truly are those we place on ourselves.
While doing my warmup for the race I looked down at my Garmin and saw 6:16 on the clock. It made me smile because I thought of my 6:16 mile from earlier in the week [6/1/06 - also happens to the birthday of a daughters friend - so that number is special to her]. When I was running and seriously wanting to quit [this happens in allot of races] I thought about how faithful God has been to me, so there was no reason for me to think he wasn’t with me now.
After the race on the way home I looked at the clock in my car – 8:18. [do you believe me yet on this crazy number thing?]
The best part of the race? Having my husband and all three kids come watch me run for the first time ever! Miles, Chloe and I all warmed up together before the race. Miles lifted his arms as he ran underneath the banner – yelling out “I did it – I did it” – I’m pretty sure he actually thought he raced. It was also beyond awesome finishing first while my children were there. When they gave me good luck kisses goodbye – Miles said “run run fast mommy and win” I smiled knowing that whatever placed I finished – he would think I had won.
Overall I would recommend this race. If you are looking for a low key 8K race in the Metro DC area this is it. The race is not chip timed but the time difference between my Garmin and the race results was 1 second. I am continually amazed at the time accuracy in non-chip timed races!
Would I run this race again next year? Yes
Note: The DC Capital Striders are a local running group which offers free weekly runs at many locations throughout the area. They also organize many free seminars on fitness related topics throughout the year in addition to volunteering at many local races. Join them again November 19th for the Fast Feet For Food 5K to benefit DC Central Kitchen.
For more information, visit http://www.dccapitalstriders.com/