The things I love about this race start with the registration process. I still love that when you register for the race, you're told how much of the fee went toward the race costs and how much went toward the charity, along with a charity donation receipt for your tax return. The charity is the Semper Fi Fund, which works to provide "financial assistance and quality of life solutions to Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces, when they become injured in post 9-11 combat or training operations, or face life threatening illness or injury."
We were led in a group warm up before the race
The packet pick up was available on race morning or the day before the race at a running store. One of my friends running the race with me works near the store so she picked up our packets the day before and said that it was quick and easy.
There was obviously a large military presence and the race started with a formal salute to the flag
The big difference in the race this year was that they had changed the course and moved it to a different location. The course was an out and back along the Potomac River on Hain's Point. The downside of this location, and my main complaint, was that the nearest metro stop was at least a 20 minute walk away. In addition, there wasn't as much available parking as last year's location and you had to get there early to get parking before the roads closed. We still decided to drive because we live far enough in the suburbs that I wasn't sure we would get to the race in time if we took the metro and then had to walk a bit more than a mile to get to the start. Thankfully, we got there right before the roads closed and found good parking just as someone else was leaving for some reason.
Since we were so early, my friend and I did a warm up run going the other way on the road. It was a nice little run and we were still back 15 minutes before the start time. The other downside of this location compared to last year is that there were real bathrooms at last year's start lines and just port-a-potties this year. There was a long line so we skipped them, which I later regretted.
One of the many cute dogs in attendance :)
There was a great crowd at this race. Lots of families, kids, dogs, groups of friends, and everyone having a good time. There were 1,039 finishers according to the results. I loved the overall vibe of this race.
The road the race was run on with the river in the background
And I really liked the course. I know some people don't like Hain's Point and feel it's boring but this is actually the first time I've run there. I liked that it was by the river, that there was a good breeze, that it never felt too crowded, and that it was super flat! And the super flat course led to another 5k PR for me. I finished in 35:16 according to the official results. My previous 5k PR from the Capital for a Day 5k was 36:53.
That's me in the purple skirt :)
After the race, there was lots of great, upbeat music being played by the DJ. And there were bananas, apples, kind bars, bagels, and plenty of water. They seemed to have enough for everyone, even the people at the very end. Again, the vibe of this race beginning to end was wonderful. I highly recommend this race.