I ran the race with Jill - a Kappa Delta sister of mine from William & Mary - and her neighbor Kelly. Jill just completed a couch to 5k program and her goal was to run without stopping. And this was Kelly's first 5k! She said 8 weeks ago she couldn't even run a minute. I am proud to say they both did a fantastic job and ran the whole race without stopping! Way to go Jill and Kelly!!
|Jill & me before the race|
(race shirts for purchase in the background; they weren't included)
|Kelly crosses her first ever 5k finish line!|
|Crossing the finish line with Jill|
|After the race with Jill & Kelly|
Kelly's tiara says "first 5k" & "finisher"
- It has a few long out & backs, which probably can't be avoided given the density of Mosaic District. And lots of hills, which definitely can't be avoided!
- We ran through a parking garage which messed with my Garmin. Technically this isn't a problem with the race course, but I would have preferred clear satellites the whole way.
- At one point the race course crosses itself, so twice during the race we ran into other runners. Ideally this would be eliminated next year; if that isn't possible there should be volunteers directing traffic, and perhaps a switch of running to the left side of the cones which would have kept us from having to run through each other.
- There were also a large number of cars trapped inside the race course which made for some frustrated motorists!
- There was a need for more volunteers and water at the water stop. When I ran past it there were ~20 people standing in line waiting for water to be poured into cups.
- There was a wave start, which is a good idea for keeping the course less congested, but we didn't know this ahead of time. A small group of people would take off and then they would stop the flow of people. There were no corrals or clear indications of what constituted a "wave". So a good idea, but a bit confusing in execution.
|Before the start of the race.|
This group broke into 5 different waves.
After the race there was a series of booths with gourmet food and demos. Very cool in theory, a bit crowded and limited in practice. There were long lines and many booths had people working frantically (thank you for all of your efforts!) to try to keep up with demand. And although the party was to go until 12:30, many booths were out of food by 10:30. I had some delicious items - orange/carrot/ginger juice, two kinds of strawberry gazpacho, a granola yogurt parfait, watermelon/feta appetizer. I would love to give the booths credit for their creations but it was so crazy it was hard to keep track.
|Tara displays the parfait and|
two types of gazpacho
I hung out with Lynn and Tara for the after-party and we had a great time despite the crowds. We took Potomac River Running 101 together and are now running together in the Reston Women's Training Program. Lynn and Tara are each coming back from an injury and they are doing a great job in being consistent and not pushing it too far. I know they are both eager to be 100% again and back to where they were pre-injury. Soon, ladies, I promise!
|Lynn, me, & Tara with the Big Idaho Potato Truck|
This potato would make 1.4 million french fries!
|And this is what we look like without a giant potato|
Ah, Here's the Party!
Towards the end of the row of booths things thinned out a bit and we discovered more booths, and they were not out of supplies! And a whole other section of the party! We had juice from HonestTea, got a magazine and some samples from PoshSeven (including a free bounce pass to Loudoun Sport Bounce)! The latest issues of Cooking Light and Health magazines were handed out. There were coupons! And gummy vitamin samples! And Cetaphil cleansing cloths. A bag of Plainsmart kettle korn and a protein bar. Seeds - I picked up basil, carrot, and radish seeds. There was a beer garden that we didn't go into (more lines) but I think we could have gotten a Stella Artois beer glass souvenir in there. There was also a bootcamp tent with weights and bands. We enjoyed some more food - the Cooking Light line of meals (pretty tasty) and a blueberry banana smoothie. We entered some raffles. We left on a high note!
|The second party of the party|
|The Cooking Light Tent|
|Handing out Health and Cooking Light|
|Cooking Light Seared Beef Sirloin|
|Cooking Light Chipotle Pork Tacos|
|Cooking Light Energy Mix|
While there is room for improvement with this race, it was fun and has a lot of potential. I predict that next year they will smooth out some of the bumps and this will be a really fun after-party.