This past weekend was the inaugural Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, DC. Since I participated in and absolutely loved the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco last year, this event had big shoes to fill! After the Expotique was just as cool, I had high hopes for the event.
I woke up very early race morning, got ready, and met my team in the lobby of our hotel. After some chatting and a group picture, the team walked to the metro together. After a few stops, we got off the metro. There it was--race village just as the sun was rising over the DC skyline. The team separated as we all headed to assigned corrals. Joan Benoit Samuelson and Shalane Flanagan gave runners a quick peep talk. Looking down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the start line, at the Capital Building was an amazing way to start the race. It was the most breath taking start line I have ever experienced.
As beautiful as the sights at the start was, the corral system was equally as bad. At the Expotique, each runner is given a bracelet with a corresponding corral based on their estimated pace per mile. As it turns out, the corrals were to small. All the runners could not fit into the corrals. Those of us who did not get to the corrals early, were stuck waiting on the sidewalks. Race directors allowed farther back corrals to start before the runners on the sidewalk in the closer up corrals get to the start. It was quite a mess!
Aside from the disorganization at the start, it was an amazing race! The course felt crowded the entire time, so it felt hard to hit my stride. I decided early on to stay with friends, take it slow and enjoy the scenic course. The course was the perfect running tour of DC. We hit all the highlights--the Washington
Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capital Building, the cherry blossoms, the beautiful Potomac River. The course was interesting for the entire race--the beginning was in the city. Then we ran past the DC mall, then across the Arlington Bridge and back, and along the Potomac. The last mile was through the heart of DC--right past the United States Capital Building. Then it was on to the finish line and to that beautiful little blue box waiting just for me!
Instead of firemen in tuxedos, we were treated to ROTC boys in tuxedos! I got my Tiffany necklace medal, my finisher shirt, some snacks and some water. My friends and could not wait to pull the ribbons off those boxes and see our finishers medals. Nike and Tiffany did an awesome job, don't you think! This was an amazing race. If you ever get the chance to do a Nike race--do it!
A dream is a wish...