Which do you want first: the good news or the bad news? Let’s go with the good first since I’m trying to stay positive about the situation.
- The good news: I definitely PRed at yesterday’s National Half Marathon.
- The bad news: I don’t have an ‘official’ race time to show for it.*
I’ll explain what happened in a minute. I’m still happy that I finished the race and had a great time doing it!
The race started at 7:00 AM, so Katie and I set our alarm clocks for 5:15, readied ourselves, and jogged to the start, which was only about a mile away from Katie’s condo. Katie ran the half marathon relay with two of her friends, so it was nice to have a buddy to go with to the start.
The race included those running the marathon, half marathon, and half marathon relay, so it was easily the biggest race I have ever run. Rumor has it there were over 17,000 runners there yesterday!
The start of the race was a crazy madhouse, but, thankfully, Theodora and I were in the same corral and had each other to chat with and get out some of our pre-race jitters.
At 7:00 on the dot, the race started: elite runners first, then marathoners, half marathoners, and then the relay runners. It took Theodora and I quite a while to get across the start line, but once we did, I took off. The start was an insane mess of people—even more crowded than the Ras 5K in Davis every year. I just wanted to get past the big mob of runners, so I wove in and out of people for the first few miles, which were mostly all down hill and pretty fast.
A lot of people complained about the hills on the course, but I didn’t think they were bad at all. There was a massive hill around around Mile 6 on Connecticut Avenue, which I cursed in my head (and once out loud) the entire time, but for every up hill there was a down hill!
The race course was absolutely beautiful. It might just be my favorite course yet. It took us alongside the National Mall where we passed by the Capitol Building and Washington Monument. Then, we headed up through Adams Morgan and Howard University, where there were tons of spectators and cheering. The last few miles headed back toward the race start. I loved it all. Awesome course.
The last mile of the race was uphill to the finish. It was killer! But, according to my Garmin, I finished 13.29 miles in 1:56:32. My ‘official’ gun time and net time were 2:06:32, which totally doesn’t make sense. It seems like the first chip mat never recorded me running over it.
There’s no way I started when the gun went off. Look at where corral 6 is located!
And my mile splits were pretty speedy!
- Mile 1: 8:46
- Mile 2: 8:43
- Mile 3: 8:21
- Mile 4: 8:20
- Mile 5: 8:54
- Mile 6: 8:34
- Mile 7: 8:55
- Mile 8: 8:43
- Mile 9: 8:37
- Mile 10: 8:47
- Mile 11: 8:55
- Mile 12: 9:17
- Mile 13: 9:03
Even still, Katie and I finished our respective races with smiles on our faces. She killed her 5-mile portion of the relay and finished in about 43 minutes!
After the race, Katie, her friend, Rachel, and I headed over to Eastern Market for brunch and post-race beers.
I’m a nerd and continued to wear my race medal. I couldn’t help but be proud of myself! I ran fast!
We met Theodora at Tunnicliffs Tavern for brunch.
The beer gods were with me because Tunnicliffs had Goose Island Honker’s Ale on tap. It’s one of my favorite post-run beers. I drank two during brunch.
The National Marathon website still has “preliminary” race results posted, and I emailed the timing people about my issue, so, hopefully, everything gets worked out. I want to know my time!
*Edited to add (3/27/11 – 7:15 PM): Granite State Race Services (aka ‘the timing people’) just replied to my email and told me my offical time: 1:56:30! WAHOO!!! I am so psyched!