The Clarendon 5k/10k double header!
Come see how beautiful the scenic parking lots of the Pentagon look on a Saturday in late September! Watch the sun shine off the bright pavement of the long expanse of highway and parking lot! Run past Arlington Cemetery and feel immediately guilty for having thought “I wish I were dead” at mile 3! Spend 1.5 miles running downhill so that your legs will be completely trashed by the time you run uphill to the finish and use the out and back to be reminded of just how slow you really, truly are relative to just about everyone else in the universe!
The upside to this race is that you overlap with the very end/very beginning of the Marine Corps Marathon, so if you’re getting ready for that race it’s kind of fun. You’ll pass through where the corrals at the beginning are and basically the final 2 miles past the Pentagon on the highway.
Let’s talk about the double header, shall we?
Sometimes, I think that the Dopey Challenge would do well to have the 5k and 10k on the same day and ta da you get an extra day to sleep in but the thing is, this is actually really hard to pull off if you’re running. Especially if you put just even just a little too much effort into the 5k and your legs are trashed from the downhill before you even start the 10k. In short, doing a 5k/10k double header is not the same as doing a 9 mile run. I met a friend to do this race and when I registered my thoughts on it she said, “I didn’t realize you didn’t know the course was so much highway!”
It was overall the usual Pacers’ fare–not too much in the frills department (nature’s valley granola bars, water bottle, and banana at the finish–Popsicles, people, make it happen). It was well organized, started on time, and wasn’t overly crowded. I wouldn’t be eager to re-do it any time soon but knowing me I just can’t stay away from a race I’ve found an overall miserable experience so I’ll probably be back again next year! Plus, my friend who did the 5k was at the finish and took my picture! I usually get cropped out of Pacers’ free race photos so this was appreciated.