On Monday July 4th, myself and over 1500 runners ran the inaugural Let Freedom Run 5K at Fairfax Corner Center. The weather, much like my last race, was ridiculously hot and humid. When I walked to the starting line I was already sweating. I promise you I will not miss this weather come fall.

Wearing Bib #1229 I finished as the 10th female overall with a chip time of 20:27. While the race was not a PR for me, I was proud of my performace and was REALLY pumped to finish in the top ten!

Ease of parking: I arrived early, as I do for all races, and had ZERO problem parking. My husband and kids arrived a bit after the start of the race and also had zero problem parking. My walk to pick up my packet was less than a minute and I parked right next to the port-o-potty just in case.

Ease of packet pick up: There was the option to pick up your packet prior to the race, but I decided to save gas money and time and just grab my packet right before the race. I registered and picked up my packet in less than five minutes and there was still size small shirts left an hour before the race.

Ease of getting to the start: The start was right next to packet pick up, which is right next to parking. Literally logistics wise this may have been one of the easiest races I’ve run.

Course: It sucks. Ok that is a bit harsh because in fairness to the race they do list on the website that it is challenging. I do not mind a challenge but I prefer hills in races that are longer than 3.1 miles long. Even 10 – 15 seconds lost on a hill in a 5K makes a giant difference in your time. I prefer flat courses for 5K’s, though I will admit I’m not sure I’ve ever run a 5K that I liked the course.

I like to take away something from every race I run. If I learn something I consider it a success.

What I learned: I do not run fast in heat, period, end of story. Okay I take that back. I think my time was fast, but I think fitness wise – well I hope anyways – that my time would have been faster. I started out at what I felt was a comfortable pace. I felt like I was holding back and was good to go to drop it down. Then the hills came. I couldn’t power up them like I normally do. The air felt heavy in my lungs.

I also learned that a 9 mile triple stroller run the Friday before a race, followed the next day by a fast 12 miles is not the best idea to do right before running a race[well I semi already knew this but….].
I did a warm up of about 2 miles before the race, but no strides. I should have done strides.

Mile 1: 6:13
Mile 2: 6:33
Mile 3: 6:46
Mile 3.1: 6:01 avg for .16

Typically if my first mile is my fastest mile I would say I did not run this race smart. I do believe I started out at a good pace, I think the hills were the factor in me slowing down. The finish was mostly flat so I was able to sprint it in at a good pace.

The best part of the race? Being surprised at the finish by my husband and three kids! After the race we registered Chloe for her first 1K. I ran by her side the entire time. It was a great way to spend the 4th of July!

Overall I would recommend this race. If you are looking for a fun, family friendly event on the 4th of July, this is it. The finishers of the kids race, got medals, a t-shirt and a coupon for a free dessert at Uncle Julio’s.

This race is put on by Capital Running Company, the same people who own the website http://www.runwashington.com/, which meant that the prizes were fantastic. All in all I’m glad I ran and would probably run again next year.

photo copyright Lea Gallardo

photo copyright Lea Gallardo


  1. Jackie Smith (the other one) says:

    I ran the Giant Race (from AT&T Park to the Bridge & back across home plate) last year & loved it–the 5K was flat, and I loved running to the bridge & back.

    You rocked this race!

  2. Caroline says:

    I predict at least 25 comments on how good you look and on those abs of yours!!!!

    my last 5k was on the 4th also and the last 0.5 miles was all hill and I am like you, hills are ok for 10k and up! and like you I struggle in the heat…I nowhere near as fast as you of course but I am faster when it is not 104 like at my last 5k!!!

    kids run are the best! my kids LOVE them. their first one was at Disneyland, pretty good way to start their racing career!!!!

  3. IDK… a 20:27 in heat is pretty dang fast, woman! And you look awesome in the photo :) for an extra bonus!

  4. David H. says:

    So what I want to know is, did you pass that guy? :)

  5. Chris @ Heavy Steps says:

    Great job on that time! Holy Abs Batman! Caroline was right, you will get a few more comments about them!

    I just hope to be able to come close to running as fast as you do!

  6. You are insanely fit!!! Look at your abs!!! Nice job on a challenging race : )

  7. Allison says:

    You've seriously had 3 kids? Your abs are incredible. SO JEALOUS!

    Those old men are deceiving. My running coach is 72 and still pumping out sub-20 5Ks.

    Awesome job. You are a total badass.

  8. Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS says:

    Yep, the abs are amazing! Congratulations on an outstanding finish to a tough race. You are incredible!

  9. Sarah J. says:

    You are seriously amazing! (And yes, the abs too!)

  10. workout mommy says:

    holy abs Batman is right! :) Great race, I'm jealous of your speed.
    (and your abs!!!)

  11. I'm not saying anything about your abs. oh crap! I just did! hahaha! Way to go on the race!

  12. GEEZ! Great job! Um, you just had a baby? Man, I wish my abs looked like THAT too.

  13. John davis says:

    Wow ! what an interesting blog.Thanks for sharing this information.Your information is really informative for us.
    Nice blog on Parking posts.
    Keep sharing more & more…..

  14. wow you are fast. Great job. Ya the heat sucks. That is so cool that your daughter ran her first 1k…

  15. Rachel McPhillips says:

    Your abs are inspirational. And running in heat? I absolutely hate it. I either run at night or on the treadmill.

  16. Katie M says:

    Another compliment on the abs from me. What ab work do you do for them? I ran a 5K race on the 4th of July in my hometown and it was also super hot. I'm looking forward to cooler weather.

  17. Tri-Living...Together says:

    I actually hate 5ks.. I would much rather spread my pain out over 26.2 LOL!!!!!! You're amazing!!!!

  18. SupermomE12 says:

    You rock. But you know it. :) You look amazing in these pics. Great job!!!!

  19. Way to go!! You look AMAZING!! Ab envy over here!

  20. Christy says:

    Okay even though we all run our own race, I would kill for stats like that!!!! (not literally). Great race! You look amazing!

  21. Caroline says:

    see? I told you!!!!

  22. Dang! You look fabulous! Awesome abs girl! And great finish! Congrats on a top 10!

  23. You look awesome!!! Good job!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I want your abs … way to go mama!

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