So, there was more to the race than my time… though off hand I can’t think of anything more important. I had put down an estimated 10 minutes/mile back in December for my pacing before I decided that I could (and should) go faster so I planned on getting to the race really early to get to the front of my corral.
I overslept and jumped out of bed and ran to the metro, which was packed with runners and their families/friends. (Mine were all still in bed saying they couldn’t be bothered coming. Thanks, guys.) Strangely enough, the day before the race Nike sent out an email about how, although the metro would be running early for the race, ummm, due to scheduled track work there would be spotty service on the redline.
There were probably a bunch of out of town people who read that email and suddenly totally understood the sign I made at the expo that said “you run better than metro.”
Anyway, I wandered around for a few minutes after getting off the metro to find my corral. There were the usual things: large groups of women posing for pictures, small groups of women posing for pictures… a sea of matching outfits/t-shirts as far as the eye could see. Seriously, the customized t-shirt industry is most likely sustained by women and must love women’s races. Then there was the sea of purple Team in Training people–if you’re looking for a team-centric race, this is a great option for you. They were well-loved and honestly, it seemed like they were also well taken care of before and after the race.
I was successful in being one of the first people into my corral. It was just like Wine and Dine–I was right up against the starting tape. They had the same kind of start NYRR has for its central park races. Despite being a pretty big race, there wasn’t any staggering of the starting times: at around 6:45 the corrals were walked up and the tape dropped. The corrals collapsed and I moved up to be among the 9:00 minute people. I don’t know why they don’t give a staggered start, the first 4 miles were pretty congested and it didn’t really let up until at least mile 9 or 10.
The national anthem was sung, no one took their hat off and half the women around me talked through the whole thing including what I think was supposed to be a moment of silence for Boston. Smooth girls, real classy.
I was elbowed repeatedly, and I have to say one thing: I love co-ed races and men who run because unlike women, men don’t seem to have the same need to run with all of their friends for the entire race in one large group and refuse to let you pass them. Know how I know they were together? Matching t-shirts.
There were bands along the course, bands that were much better than what I heard at RnR (all lady drumline on rock creek I’m thinking of you) and the people along the course were great. (Man with single and supportive sign, call me.)
Best of all, the Finishers’ village had some nice touches. I wouldn’t have gone within 10 feet of those stretching mats covered with other people’s sweat and BO, but I did appreciate the banana/strawberry smoothies they were handing out and I stocked up on Dole fruit cups. I found someone to take my picture with the DIY backgrounds and then walked home.
The upside: It was convenient for me, a route I’m more or less familiar with (except the part on the highway), and the weather was PERFECT.
the downside: it was congested and the on course etiquette was… not so hot. Plus it’s a pricey race. No on course photography if you’re into that thing, and they also didn’t include the bra changing station so some definite differences between the DC and San Francisco races.