I did my first race of the season (according to my race calendar) this past Sunday. I’d never even heard of the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler before (I think it might be overshadowed by the (lame) Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, run a few weeks earlier) – but apparently, it was the 25th Anniversary. Who knew…?!
I originally signed up for two reasons:
a) I was out of town the weekend of the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.
b) I was desperately looking for a race, other than the Cherry Blossom, to run (I should post a blog titled: “Reasons why I don’t like the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler”).
Race day approaching, I started to get excited (I mean, really excited) and here’s why:
1. I LOVE TO RUN! I should have started this post by declaring my unconditional devotion to running – but now you know. I like it. I love it. I adore it.
2. Easy. Convenient. Close to home. Who doesn’t love all 3 – especially on race day, when you wake up extra early to arrive with plenty of time to stretch, use the porta-potty, drink some water….I could go on, you get the point. I mean, I walked one block to pick up my race packet and drove 5 miles to Old Town, Alexandria on race day (my boyfriend likes convenience even more than I do, so he really loved this race – but more about him in a minute).
3. Not too crowded. When I picked up my race packet I asked: “How many people are running on Sunday?” Ms. “I-have-all-of-the race-answers” answered: “8,000.” Okay, not too bad. The final number of finishers on race day: 4054. Even better!
4. Point-to-Point. You start at Mt. Vernon (that’s right, George’s house aka “the 1st President of the United States”) and finish in Old Town, Alexandria. You don’t have to run past the same house/store/building/person/tree 10 different times. I like that – keepin’ it fresh!
So, now to my boyfriend – I’ll call him BJ (to save him any brush with fame he might receive, should this blog become famous) – kept saying, “That was a fun race!!” He later corrected himself by saying, “The race was fun, now that it’s over!” And everything he’s saying is true. It was a fun race … but just a little too hot and not enough water. There’s absolutely no reason it should be 90 degrees in April – but it was and there’s nothing we can do about it (damn global warming). On the flip side, there is something we can do about not enough water: PROVIDE MORE! I have very little patience for races that don’t provide enough water, and to be honest, it’s a little unacceptable. Water is free – give it out – people need it! Now, I will point out that there were plenty of trees along the run to help balance out the brutal heat – nice touch – a special shout out to the big shade trees on GW parkway. But, you and I both know that shade is not going to cut it when you are dying of thirst – 1st water station, mile 2.5. Thanks to BJ’s relentless urging (and my 25th birthday), I wore my Camelback – and good thing I did. I needed it.
Overall, I felt pretty good. My mirror image ran next to me the entire race – which was great motivation. Never in my life have a witnessed someone run so much like me, it was cool (and creepy). I have a running twin. Mile 7 was the start of a huge blister (like the size of a quarter and a nickel combined) but I ran through it (barely). I think it wanted to keep me from running sub 8-minute miles and it almost did, but I’m not about to let some stupid blister ruin my run. Nice try – I win.
Final Time: 1:19
Place: 450 (out of 4054)
Verdict: The race was great and really well organized! I highly recommend running the GW 10 miler (as long as the overall runner count does not exceed 8,000). Plus, a huge bonus/nice suprise: the race shirts were awesome (I can’t say that about many race shirts)! They were New Balance technical tees and gender specific – nice touch – I’m sure the paparazzi have already snapped a shot of me sporting it around town (that’s how much I like it)!
Overall score: 8