This is going to be a long one. I realized I took almost 40 photos just on my phone during the race (and expo) and I have more photos on my real camera. Sadly, I think only a
small portion of the phone photos will make it on here.
Friday we arrived in DC and immediately headed to Georgetown for the Expotique. We had until 8 p.m. to pick up our bibs, and we didn’t want to mess with it on Saturday. Once we found the location, we had 15 minutes to check out the expo. (It looked like so much fun and I wish we had time to really explore it.) It was so cool seeing all of the signs for “We Run DC” and our excitement level continued to build.
We spent so much time walking on Saturday (almost 9 hours straight.) This was my first visit to DC and I didn’t want to waste a minute. So I didn’t.
I set my alarm for 4:15 on Sunday morning. The metro started early for this race (5 a.m.) and Carol and I had to find Melissa. We walked to the metro around 5:15 and were at the race start around 6 a.m.
We saw some port-a-johns on our way to the start, which we used quickly (they were clean and I wasn’t sure when we’d see them again.) Sadly, we didn’t find a bathroom for six miles that didn’t have some insane line.
We took a few photos and finally met up with Melissa. There were almost 15,000 women (and a few good men) running this race. We were in the 10:00-10:59 minute corral. That meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Yes, they let us into our corral, but then they took down the barriers, and all of the corrals became one.
There was a moment of silence for Boston (which was amazing because how do you get 15,000 people silent at the same time??) We were on our way by 7:10!
In the first quarter mile, someone dropped her water bottle and grabbed it. Another woman yelled at the first girl for stopping. There were a few people who were quite rude. For the most part, though, everyone was fantastic and excited and there for the experience (not the PR.)
Within the first mile, we ran through a tunnel and there was a band in the beginning of the tunnel. They were amazing. There were drummers throughout the course and it just made things much more exciting. There was a second band at the end of the tunnel (and imagine my joy when we got to run back through the tunnel at the end of the race?!?)
I ditched my long-sleeve shirt around the two-mile point. And I continued to take photos.
We just tried to enjoy the race. It was a surreal experience, running the streets of DC. The views were fantastic and the energy was nothing like I’ve experienced in a race before.
Around mile 5, we got separated for a few minutes. Thankfully we all whipped out our cell phones and found one another. There is no way I would have completed this race without Melissa and Carol. Water stations were a mess. So crowded and people could not get in and out. The volunteers couldn’t keep up with the cups of water/Nuun fast enough. That’s how we got separated. It was nuts.
Restrooms were few and far between. There would be four port-a-johns near a water stop and then lines (no joke) 200-yards long. At mile 6, I spotted restrooms that were part of a park and we stopped. The lines weren’t outrageous, and we quickly jumped in the line for the men’s room. This stop took between 10 and 15 minutes. And two of the stalls had caution tape on them (the outside had been caved in.) The bathrooms weren’t unusable, though, so I’m lucky that Carol got a picture of my hand.
After our bathroom break, we continued on. A couple of the miles were a little boring. No music and not much support. They had signs up on these miles that were a little bit of a motivator.
At mile 9, Carol’s leg started getting her down. (Stupid injuries. Remember – all three of us went into this race injured.) We slowed it down a bit, and we encountered a (slight) hill around this time. It was about this time that Melissa and I really started to push Carol. We were not going to finish without her!
And around mile 10, we got to go back through the tunnel! I loved those bands.
We had an out and back loop to get to the finish. I remember hearing Justin Bieber (there was a deejay) and around 12.5 I heard Firework (Katy Perry) and immediately thought of Bari.
We finished STRONG. I remember a sign that said “There will come a day that you can’t do this. Today is not that day.” We took the last half mile and kicked it.
At the finish line was a red carpet and men in tuxedos with the Tiffany boxes.
Kenny had texted me to let me know he was at the finish line. He never actually saw us, and we had to call him to try and track him down. We went through the lines to get our finisher’s shirts and then we could have gone through the lines to get a makeover and even a haircut before having our finisher’s photo taken. Knowing I wasn’t going to buy a finisher’s photo, we took a few cell phone pictures before making our way to get Luna bars and smoothies.
There was a “store” set up after the photos and the lines were insane. We wanted Finisher’s gear (the race shirt just said “FINISHER” and we wanted something more), but we were not willing to stand in line. Later in the day we rode the metro to Georgetown and shopped at the Nike store.
I checked our time and we finished in 2:35. Given the bathroom break and our injuries, I’m very happy with our time.
If given the opportunity, I’d run this race again – or another Nike race. They did such a great job.
The downside to the race: the crowds, lack of restroom facilities and the finish area was kind of a mess. It was so chaotic and took so long to get through what little we went through (water, necklace, finisher’s shirt, food.) There was a lot to do, but only if you were ready to be there for a couple more hours.
If you’ve made it this far, I give you mad props. You are amazing.