Despite weather challenges, I had a great time running this race! I've got a lot to share. Today we'll go with the "Good, Bad, and Ugly" recap format.
- The course was stunning. The amazing array of scenery included the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Memorial Bridge, Rock Creek Park, the Potomac River, Woodley Park, Calvert Hill, Howard University, the Kennedy Center, Adams Morgan, etc. etc. etc.
|The starting line.|
Due to rainy conditions, this was unfortunately the only picture I took on the course.
- There were a lot of touching elements to the course, too. In Rock Creek Park, there were dozens and dozens of signs with pictures of fallen soldiers and their names/ages. Along Calvert Hill, there were folks lined up along both sides of the street holding American flags. These all brought tears to my eyes.
- Despite very rainy, inclement conditions, the volunteers, spectators, and my fellow-racers were unbelievably energetic and spirited.
- At the water stations, the volunteers were amazing. They did a great job keeping things upbeat. Some made jokes like, "Don't be shy, there's no water shortage!" or "We're just putting out the cups. The rain is filling them up for you!"
- Dozens of spectators were cheering us on in costume, setting up dance stations for us, offering us all kinds of food and beverage. Bacon? Oreos? Bloody Marys? Ask and you shall receive.
- The runners were very diverse - I must have heard a half-dozen different languages being spoken. Folks were cheering each other on, singing at the top of their lungs, kidding around, and overall just having a marvelous time.
- The DC Metro couldn't have been easier or more convenient when getting to the race expo or the starting line.
- My father-in-law, being local to the area, knew of a McDonald's near the starting line that we could stop at. This enabled me to do all of my pre-race prep indoors. It was a godsend.
|Donning my stylish garbage-bag dress pre-race to ward off the rain. |
Look for this to hit department stores soon. Accept no imitations!
- Consistent with my prior Rock N Roll race experiences, the event was very well organized with excellent offerings for the runners. I loved the race shirt and medal. I also appreciated the on-course bands, Clif Shots, great selection of post-race food and drink, and space blankets at the finish.
- Military personnel happily handed out the medals at the finish line. This again brought tears to my eyes.
- As was feared, it started raining on Friday night and didn't stop until Saturday afternoon. The precipitation kept going throughout the ENTIRE race. Obviously it made for some uncomfortable circumstances. (If you're keeping score at home, this is the third time in the last nine months that I've run a water-logged race. Maybe I should start running races in California to help ward off their awful drought?!?!?)
|This is what the DC-area radar looked like on race morning.|
- There was no corral enforcement. I think there were 32 corrals, and I saw plenty of folks from later corrals lined up in the earlier corrals.
- This race was not intended to be a PR attempt. However, I did sign up to run with the 2:15 pace group. The pace leader (I think his name was Charlie) was supposed to be stationed in the same corral as I was. I looked for him several times but NEVER saw him. Additionally, other pacers seemed to be positioned weirdly. For example, I saw the 5:00 pacer in an earlier corral than mine. Then, Adam said he saw the 2:15 and 2:30 pacers at the 10K mark only about a minute apart from each other.
- Adam and my father-in-law planned to cheer me on at the 10K area. My father-in-law was wearing a neon orange jacket and Adam was waving his Terrible Towel. They should have been easy to spot in the crowd. I looked all around for them. Unfortunately, we never saw each other. This made me feel bad, considering the effort they made to be there.
- The course was hillier than I expected. It wasn't outrageous, but Calvert Hill near the Mile 6 marker was tough. Additionally, the pavement on the course had some rough patches. Presumably these were the lingering after-effects from a rough winter in DC.
|Obligatory race photo body spasm|
This was listed on the photo site as "Drumberton Bridge" but I can't find info on it.
My uneducated guess is that it was somewhere around Mile 10.
- My Garmin indicated that I completed the course in 2:16:44, plus or minus a few seconds. However, my chip time was 2:17:27! I think I know what happened. At the starting line, there were two timing mats - one directly under the starting line sign, and one a few feet prior. The organizers/volunteers had my corral line up just prior to the timing mat under the sign. However, some of us, myself included, crossed the other timing mat while we were waiting. I think it activated my chip before my corral was released. I have emailed the race organizers to inquire.
- The race finished at RFK Stadium. It was a lengthy walk from the finish line to the stadium's Metro stop. The walk also included either going up a long incline, or traversing a long flight of stairs.
- Worse yet, once we got to the Metro station, there was an EXTREMELY long and slow-moving line to get onto the train. Had the weather been good, it would have been much less of an issue. However, on this day all of the runners and spectators were exhausted, cold, and wet. There was no place to change clothing or to sit down, either. It was torturous to be standing outside waiting. It took a good hour before we got onto a Metro train.
- Once we did finally get onto the Metro, it was jam-packed, of course. We all couldn't wait to get moving so we could get home. But then, the conductor ended up having to stop the train because a passenger (probably a runner) got sick onboard. Yikes!
- Remember when I said here that my piriformis pain was gone? Yeah, scratch that. During and after the race, my piriformis reared its ugly head again with a vengeance. Sigh. I've clearly still got my work cut out for me.
It is really too bad that the relentless rain marred everything, because Rock N Roll DC was a fantastic race. The course was one of the most scenic that I've ever had the privilege of running. The energy was astounding and the sense of patriotism was unparalleled. I would give this race a HUGE two-thumbs up.
|Post-race medal glee|
Finally, I have to give a very, VERY special thank-you to my wonderful family. Adam and my father-in-law were both up at a truly ungodly hour on Saturday morning to get me to the starting line. As I mentioned, my father-in-law's local knowledge of the pre-race McDonald's location was an absolute godsend. Then, Adam and my father-in-law spent the morning riding the Metro all around DC amidst the rain, crowds, and long lines to spectate, meet me at the finish line, and get me home in one piece. My stepmother-in-law was unfortunately unable to join the day's festivities due to foot issues, but she couldn't have been more supportive, hospitable, or accommodating throughout the entire weekend. Huge thanks also go out to Aunt Marylin, Uncle Marty, and cousin Matthew for all of their wonderful hospitality over the weekend, as well!
MY NEXT RACE: The Shamrock Shuffle on March 29
Congrats Emily! Way to push through tough conditions. I'm so bummed it rained the whole time. You really are the queen of rainy races lately. Is there a Marine Corps Marathon in your future? That one may be my favorite!ReplyDelete
Thanks Marcia! I guess there is something to be said about getting lots of rainy-race experience, yes? Would love to someday run Marine Corps - I remember how amazing your medal is from when you ran it yourself!!!Delete
Sounds like maybe this one is worth a repeat visit to run it on a good weather day!ReplyDelete
That would be a RESOUNDING yes!!!!!! As timing would have it, the sun came out yesterday in DC. So when we were driving to the airport and passing all the monuments, I was thinking, "MUST TRY AGAIN."Delete
I ran it too. I was feeling pretty cold, wet and miserable by the end and definitely didn't like having to walk and then cram into the Stadium Armory metro at the end!ReplyDelete
Wasn't that the worst feeling? While we were in line, we heard a lot of runners saying that standing there in the rain waiting for the Metro was harder than running the race itself. I couldn't agree more! Regardless, congrats to you for pushing through on a challenging day!!!Delete
My little sister ran it too, I ran a half on the same day in Bozeman,MT and we had nearly perfect weather, except for the wind. Great job toughing it out and finishing. My sis also mentioned the worst part was afterwards when she got cold. I am hoping to run in DC someday!ReplyDelete
Wow, this was a really big weekend for racing! I'm hearing about folks racing all over the country!!! Glad to hear that you had near-perfect weather in Bozeman - that must have been a gorgeous course, too. Congratulations on your MT race and congrats to your little sister on pushing through, as well!!! And yes - definitely put RnR DC on your to-do list for the future, I think you'd really enjoy it!!!Delete
Despite the "Bad" and the "Ugly" parts of your recap, I would actually like to run this race sometime. I'd mostly like to run it because it sounds like a great tour of DC! Anyway, sorry to hear that your piriformis is acting up. Hope you can get it figured out very soon!ReplyDelete
Pete, I think you would thoroughly enjoy this race. It was indeed a fantastic tour of DC and was so well supported. Definitely put it on your list to do for the future! Thanks for the encouraging words regarding the piriformis - here is hoping that all of us are able to rid ourselves of our stubborn injuries once and for all. How is your ankle doing these days, btw?Delete
Oh, it is always lurking under the surface, but I think my slower training miles, combined with my 4 x week strength training has kept it at bay! As always "knock on wood". :)Delete
Doing four strength workouts a week will DEFINITELY keep things at bay!!! Knocking on wood over here, too. =)Delete
See you at Shamrock in two weeks!!!!!!
Congrats on your race!! My aunt ran the half and my cousin, cousin's boyfriend, and uncle all ran the full, so I was keeping an eye on things. That weather, man! What a story to tell! It sounds like all things considered you had a really fantastic time, which is so great! Now -- please don't make it rain on Shamrock Shuffle day, all right? ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks very much, Bethany!!! Oh wow, you knew a LOT of folks running this past weekend! It really is too bad that things didn't work out for you to run RnR DC yourself - that could have been a mini family reunion for you! Although, you did avoid having to run in all that rain, too, so I guess things all work out for the best in one way or the other, right? I'll do my darndest to not make it rain for Shamrock. Believe me, I want a non-rainy race just as much as you do!!! =DDelete
Wow, it sounds like they put on a really good race, minus the issue with the corrals. I will have to look up the course map sometime to see if it goes anywhere I have run in DC. I truly love running there! That is super cool military personnel gave you your medal. And super cool Adam and your FiL were so supportive and helpful! :)ReplyDelete
How was your pacing, with your piriformis? That's a great finish time! Even with the added time (I will be curious to hear what they say about that).
I know it sucks that it was raining... but you have had some good race luck too, like at F^3! :D
Yes! The race really was fantastic, and when I'm not trying to PR the corral issue is no big deal, LOL. I myself actually meant to go back and take a look at DC's neighborhood map to try to get a better sense for all the areas that the course runs through. It's such a beautiful city! You are lucky to have had such great opportunity to run there in the past, here is hoping you have many more chances in the future!Delete
Pacing was actually pretty good up until the hill at Mile 6. A 2:15 pace translates to 10:18 per mile, and I nailed every single split up until that hill where I lost about 40 seconds. Afterwards, my splits started dropping. Yay for positive splits, haha. Thanks for the positive words regarding my end result and the races that I DO have good luck at. =)
The course sounds like it would be awesome. I've done a few in the rain. It certainly makes for a different experience. I'm always amazed at the spectators and volunteers who are out in that mess! You did a great job! I have a little piriformis pain sometimes but only later, never during a run. Let me know if you find the magic cure. Hope it's better soon.ReplyDelete
HoHo, the course was amazing. Highly recommended! I think you would thoroughly enjoy RnR DC if you ever had the opportunity. YES on the spectators and volunteers who willingly brave the elements on those rainy days. I have so much respect and appreciation for the volunteers on days like that!!!Delete
Thank you for the kind words on my race results, and for the well wishes on my piriformis pain! I wish you a speedy recovery from the piriformis issues that you experience post-run, too!!! (Incidentally, other than strengthening the hips, someone recommended trying to alter my footstrike a bit to ease the pressure on my piriformis. Basically, I pronate pretty severely and apparently that causes issue. Will experiment with it in the coming weeks and let you know how things turn out!!!)
Congrats! That was one wet marathon!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I saw that you ran it, too - how did things go for you!?!?!? The rain certainly made for an interesting experience, yes?Delete
Congrats lady on another successful soggy finish! You do have a knack for running the rainiest of races :) we were garbage bag twinsies on Saturday morning lol. It looks like a fun course to run- I usually gravitate towards RNR because they are well organized. Surprised to hear about the corrals. Can't wait for Shamrock!!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Xaar!!! Yay for being garbage bag twinsies on Saturday morning. We're going to start the latest trend in running/street fashion, WATCH OUT. =D I do love how consistent the RnR races are in their organization! Will have to research RnR Vancouver more and will let you know what I find out about the course. Can't wait for Shamrock, too!!!Delete
Good job fighting the elements for a good race! I hate running in wind and heat, but I think rain is the worst. I mean, a little rain makes you feel badass. A lot of rain, for hours, makes you feel like turd. So again, bravo!ReplyDelete
The part with the soldiers' pictures was the Wear Blue mile! It's put on my the organization that I run with, Wear Blue: Run to Remember. My husband and I even considered going to DC to volunteer, but the timing wasn't good with his training schedule. Glad to see they were still out in full force despite the precipitation!
Thanks so much, Amy!!! Completely agree with you - I can take wind, heat, and cold, but rain is the worst condition out of all of them. Thankfully it wasn't windy that day because a cold, windy rain would be the pits.Delete
Oh my gosh! I've read so much about Wear Blue from you, and I had no idea that they were the genius behind those signs! It was incredibly touching to see all the pictures. Kudos to that organization for putting forth one of the most memorable parts of the course! Bummer that you weren't able to make it to DC because it would have been so awesome to see you there! Next time. =)
Great job fighting the rain! You look really happy and good in these photos- congrats! Please don't let it rain at Shamrock!!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Lauren! I'll tell you a secret that I only pick the pictures I look happy in to post on my blog. ;-P Heaven knows there were plenty of others that I did NOT look so happy in, hahaha.Delete
The pressure is on now with Shamrock!!! I WILL DO MY BEST!!!!!!!!!!!
Congratulations on yet another great race!!! I totally feel your pain about the rain...it was raining 100% of the time during my marathon and it's not a fun element to deal with. But you rocked it regardless! Look at it this way - running in less than ideal conditions not only trains you to better handle difficult running conditions, but it also makes you appreciate those races where the weather is perfect :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Irina!!! I remember reading your marathon recap and thinking how absolutely brutal it must have been to push through in those conditions. You are fierce! And congrats to you too on pushing through the half marathon this past weekend amidst your knee issues. Indeed, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? And you are the queen of strength! You are absolutely right about the increased appreciation for good weather, too - I will NEVER take it for granted ever again!Delete
Bummer about the rain! But I do love how you have a positive attitude about it. I would have just been complaining about it. :-)ReplyDelete
And wasn't that hill around mile 6 the worst? I remember when I saw it and almost cried. Instead I just walked it.
By the way, it is supposed to rain next Sunday. Definitely not happy about it.Delete
Appreciate the comments about my positivity! Thankfully the course was so gorgeous that it helped take my mind off the weather. (Wine and Dine was really tough because it was raining harder there than at DC. Plus the stretches of the course in between the parks is not very scenic, especially at night.)Delete
YES on that hill at Mile 6. I think this year that is why they had all those folks lined up there with their American flags plus all the photos of fallen solders! Nice psychological ploy to try to distract us from the awful incline. =)
I am hoping and praying and praying and hoping that the weather forecasters are wrong about next Sunday's weather. How awful would it be if it rained on Shamrock!?!?!? =(
Blech! Another rainy race? Maybe I jinxed you in coming to Chicago for Chinatown...ReplyDelete
Quite the contrary - I think that *I* was the jinxer when you came to Chicago for Chinatown! It's forecasted to rain this Sunday during the Shamrock Shuffle! I'm already taking a lot of flack for it. =(Delete
OH NO!! :-(Delete
Currently the forecast is calling for the rain to hold off until the afternoon... fingers crossed and praying!!!Delete