I may have fibbed a little to run this half marathon. I signed up under guaranteed entry to sign up. I graduated from UCF last May, but I used my UCF ID to sign up as a student BECAUSE, while I was a student at the time, the school I was in did not issue student IDs and you needed one to register as a student. Whoops…
They didn’t even check student IDs though, so no worries there. I gave my mother the trip to DC with me for Christmas this year. My sister signed up to go as well so it was a great surprise for my mom. I had never traveled with my sister so that was interesting as well. We all got into the city on Thursday around 5pm, hailed a cab and headed to our hotel. We had dinner then walked down to the National Mall to get a look at the monuments at night. It was beautiful.
Friday, we went through the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History then headed to Georgetown for packet pick up and to visit the Nike Store. Nike had set up the wall to have everyone’s names on the wall. Of course, Ariel and I searched and found our names. It was very neat. Packet pick up was a breeze so we headed to the Expotique. I was disappointed with it, not enough vendors.
We walked back up and went into the Nike store. Ariel bought the limited edition Tiffany blue Nikes and I bought a NWM tank and bright orange shorts with the NWM logo on them as well. Cute little outfit if you ask me! WE stopped at Georgetown Cupcakes and got a little something sweet. We were exhausted so we called it an early night and headed on back to the hotel.
Saturday we ended up back in Georgetown. It was the warmest day so my shorts made an appearance. We went on a Potomac River Cruise and grabbed dinner before turning in early for the race.
Sunday morning was race day! Ariel an d I left the hotel around 5:45am and barely made it in time for the race. I forgot my iPod so I was forced to run in silence. It ended up not being too bad. We dropped our bags off and headed to our corral. They started the warm up right when we got there and there were so many people. It was a swarm the whole time. It took about 5 minutes to get through the finish line then we could just barely do a slow jog. The first tunnel we went through had two sets of drummers and it was awesome. At the 5k mark there was a band playing their versions of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. We kept running straight through till mile 5. We said we’d break after the 10k mark. We passed another band and the 10k mark and just kept going. We will run till halfway we said. The halfway point came and went, then it was 7 and finally we decided we would take a little break at 8. I ran all the way to mile 8, then stopped off at a port-o-pot, which added two minutes to my time. I took two more short breaks at mile 10, where I lost Ariel, and at mile 12 before I started my power run to the end. Mile 12 passed right in front of the capital building and it was beautiful. My mom and sister were there at the 13 mile marker cheering me on.
I blazed through the finish line a whole minute before my goal time for my last half (which I didn’t meet) on my watch (I stopped it for the potty break) and ended up only being 1:53 over the goal even having to stand in line for the bathroom. I was greeted by a very cute man in a tuxedo who gave me my beautiful Tiffany finisher necklace. I swooped some snacks and my finishers shirt and walked out of the finisher’s area to find my back (which I couldn’t find) and it ended up being all the way back before the finish line, about a half mile away. I met up with Ariel and found my mom and sister. I was disappointed by the finisher’s shop so I didn’t end up getting anything. Then we headed to brunch and had some mimosas!
Splits: 12:44 mile
- 5K: 0:40:38
- 10K: 1:18:57
- 15K: 2:00:24
- 20K: 2:39:39
Packet Pick-up: A breeze! There was a line so we just went in and got everything!
The Medal: A custom designed Tiffany necklace. What girl doesn’t want that little blue box?
The Swag: Other than a necklace, we got a sweet shirt and a Tiffany bag to put all of our food in.
The Good: The course was amazing. The cheer sections were full. The on-course entertainment was the best I’ve seen. The weather was the perfect temperature. I didn’t even start sweating until mile 8. It was beautiful.
The Bad: The mile markers were a little small for my taste, but it wasn’t a big deal.
The Ugly: The waves really needed to start out at different times. They were too bunched together and it was like running in a swarm until the halfway point because there were so many people in my corral. My biggest issue though was how dang far I had to walk to pick my bag up. If I had wanted to buy something, I would’ve had to walk out of the finishers area, walk to my bag, and walk all the way back to the finishers area, probably a mile in total.
Overall, it was an amazing race. I couldn’t have asked for better weather, especially being a Floridian. There were so many people cheering since we ran through the heart of DC and it made pushing myself easy. I was actually glad I forgot my iPod so I could enjoy everything. This was put on very well considering it was the first year they did a race somewhere other than San Francisco. I’d love to come back another year.