Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lawyers Have Heart 10k

Well, I've finished my first 10k and had a great time!  Thank you all for the encouragement along the way. Without further ado, here's my review of the race.

The race proceeds benefit the American Heart Society. Once I registered for the race, there were regular emails related to fundraising.  It was kind of cool because they would have different drawings for prizes and people could get entries based on the amount they had raised.

Packet pick up was at a Pacers store in DC.  They had pick up times on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning before the race. They mentioned that someone else could pick up the packet for a runner so Mike picked up our packets since the store was on his way home from work. He said he went right in, didn't have to wait long at all, and it was all very well organized.

Mike also came along on race day to cheer us on!

The 5k started at 7am and the 10k started at 7:30am. The race was in Georgetown and we knew we'd rather err on the side of being early.  My friend spent the night at my place so that we could car pool. We left the house around 5:45am.  The race organizers had sent an email listing the various parking garages, the opening times, and a voucher for $7 parking.  We saw one of the garages close to the start line opened at 6am so we planned to park there. Well, we got there at 6:27 and the street leading to that parking garage was already closed! The other parking lot was full.  Thankfully there was plenty of street parking since we were so early so we just parked on the street.  The meter didn't seem to be working but we thankfully didn't get a ticket.

It ended up being a beautiful morning.  The temperatures were in the 60s when we got there. There were a ton of people and already lines for the port a potties.  Also a long line for picking up bibs. I was glad we already had ours.  We saw off the 5k runners and then made our way to the beginning for the 10k. This was the largest race I've done so far and I'm glad I got to experience the feeling of corrals at the start being so crowded, being in the corrals for a while before actually being able to begin, having to look around before slowing into my walk intervals, etc.

My friend and I had agreed to do 6/1 run walk intervals and we stayed together for most of the course. It was a nice course. It started near the harbor, ran up an overpass to The Whitehurst Freeway, on M Street a but, and then on canal street before turning around and coming back.  You can see on the map below that the course is along the river but you couldn't really see the river for most of the race.

The course was relatively flat with the overpass being the most of the hilly part. 

There were plenty of water stops and around mile 4 they gave us a wet sponge that felt amazing when I squeezed it over myself.  There were tons of volunteers and they were amazing.  The course was shaded on the way out but sunny on the way back. I know you're not supposed to try anything new on race day but I'm glad I wore my new sunglasses I bought with birthday money. Sadly I don't have any photos of the course because I haven't mastered the ability to run and take photos at the same time.

Around mile 5 my friend began to flag and I kept going.  I kicked it into high gear when I passed the mile 6 marker. I had a goal of finishing in 1 hour and 20 minutes and as I approached the finish line I could see that the clock was around 1 hour and 22 minutes.  I knew we had been in the corral for a bit so I thought I could still make my goal and pushed it.  Long story short, I made my goal and finished in 1:18:52!

There was a generous pacing requirement for the race.  Basically, the roads were closed until 9:30am and everyone had to be finished by then. So that was 2 hours available for the 10k.  There was an after party with music, snow cones, and other food by the harbor after the race. They also had a guy in a heart suit and a guy dressed as a briefcase for people to take photos with.  I'm not gonna lie, that was a little strange.  The race organizers also had an agreement with one of the restaurants to open early for brunch. So we headed straight for brunch after the race.

All in all, I would recommend this race to anyone.  It was a good course, a lot of energy and people, a good cause, really well organized, and so many lawyer themed puns on running shirts to keep you amused during the race :). The only downside was the parking situation at the beginning.  So just know to get there early if you're driving.  I can definitely see this being a race I do every year.