Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jingle All the Way 5k

This past Sunday, I ran the Jingle All the Way 5k put on by Pacers.  This has been an 8k race in the past but it was converted to a 5k this year because of construction.  I was excited to run this race because I'd heard great things about it and I had heard that Pacers races were really well organized.

So they had packet pick up available the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the race at any of their stores.  I went to the Pacers store in DC Saturday afternoon and packet pick up was a breeze.  There were a couple people in line ahead of me but it moved fairly quickly.  And since it was at the store, I was also able to buy a new pair of running gloves since I knew I would need them for the race.  The shirt was a really nice long sleeved tech shirt.  I love the red color.

The race started at 9am.  I liked that it wasn't super early.  Mike dropped me off at the metro and it was an easy ride into the city.  I was meeting friends in front of the National Theater.  I was a little early so I did a couple laps around the block to get warm.  Then I hung out in front of the theater and enjoyed checking out all the costumes.  There was one group dressed up to represent the 12 days of Christmas and that was awesome!  There was also another group in fun animal costumes and Christmas lights.  One of the things I loved about this race was all the entertainment from the other runners :)

My friends found me easily and then we went over to gather with the masses near the start.  We started toward the back of the pack but I still felt like there was always plenty of room in spite of the 4.836 other finishers. There were walkers but also plenty of room to go around. And it was awesome to run down toward the Capitol in the company of other runners, so many of them dressed up in holiday attire!  I sadly didn't take photos while running but will have to remember to do that next time (I'm pretty sure there will be a next time for this race).

 So how did my race go?  It went ok.  I initially thought I might try for a PR since I knew this course was flat. But I decided against that since this was only my second run after the half marathon 3 weeks ago and I was trying to avoid re-injuring my foot.  So I just stayed with my friends and had a great run with them catching up since we hadn't seen each other in a while. My official bib time was 41:03.  According to my Garmin, it was 41:55 for 3.19 miles.  My 5k PR was 38:54 from the Semper Fi 5k in May.

After the race, we were able to grab a banana and some water before taking a selfie and heading over to brunch.  There were photo opportunities and a photo booth with Santa but the line was pretty long so we skipped that.  There was an official post race brunch at the Hamilton but it was super crowded.  We headed over to another nearby restaurant with plenty of room.

Overall, this was a great race!  Definitely a fun one for the holidays and a great thing to do as a group.  I can see this one becoming a regular every year.

And don't forget that the give away for an armpocket is almost over! You have until tomorrow to enter.