A record registration of 30,000 runners with 23,000 of them finishing makes this the largest 10-miler in the country. Take that Philly's Broad Street Run!
This was the first race that I felt confident that I'd finish. Normally I start ultra slow because I fear that I won't have enough in the tank to cross the finish line, but with my marathon training, I sheepishly saw today as an easy run. I can't believe I would ever think of a 10-mile run as an easy run. I feel fine now and don't anticipate any soreness tomorrow. Go me!
Just a walk in the park in perfect race weather.
For the first time I felt like a legitimate runner. As if I belonged in races beyond 5 kilometers. I wasn't the newbie running 9-minute miles for the first 3 splits and burning out by mile 4. I was in complete control of my pace. I only walked for 2 minutes while I downed a Cliff Shot Block pack. The rest of the time I zigged, zagged, and enjoyed the scenery.
The route was great, as any DC race is guaranteed to be. Organizers had plenty of water and Gatorade on the course; however, the food selection was weak at the finish line. A Kashi trail mix bar that parched my throat, cinnamon raisin bagels that had all of 6 raisins, and muffins that were far to sweet for a post-race snack. I just downed a few bananas and. One Army tent offered pulled pork sandwiches, but I wasn't about to eat that after the race. Plus the line was very long.
Speaking of lines, there needs to be a better way to place the porta-potties. The portable johns faced each other meaning their lines backed into each other resulting in plenty of chaos figuring out where one line started and another one ended. It didn't help that we were all downwind of them.
I've come a long way since my longest run was on an NES Power Pad.
The only other issue with today's race was the great whiffs I took from cigarettes along the course as we came down Independence Avenue. People, when you're watching a bunch of oxygen-deprived runners, please don't throw your smoke in our faces. Just stand a few feet from the curb and we'll get along just fine.
Being sponsored by the Army, starting and finishing at the Pentagon, and having the race lead by wounded warriors, I felt weak complaining about a sore ankle when I walked around in my running shoes. It was empowering to run among double amputees and a blind veteran (Lt. Castro (sp) finishing in 84 minutes!). I was simultaneously saddened by the challenges in their lives, but also in awe of their wills to move forward.
I dare you to not be inspired.
Running by the Kennedy Center and cheering an amputee as he called out marching steps with his guide brought goosebumps. Seeing wheelchair-bound veterans hand pedal with the same grit and determination that they brought to the Army was just awesome. The constant "HOOAHs," bands playing the Army fight song, and cheering crowds willed all us to the finish.