Thursday, March 3, 2016

MCRRC County Road Run review

February 21st, I ran the County Road Run with friends.  This was a 5 mile race with a very small field.  It was also one of the Montgomery County Road Runner's low key races which means it was free for members and only $10 for non-members.  I love these races as they give me an opportunity to race throughout the year without paying any extra money as I'm a MCRRC member.

Like all of their low key races, there is no registration in advance.  If you already have the bib and shoe chip for the year, you don't need to anything other than show up with those things and start running.  If this is your first low key MCRRC race for the year, you have to register in order to get the bib and show chip.

The parking seemed plentiful.  And the start line was at the Olney Swim Center so there was an indoor space that we were able to use to stay warm before the race.  The food was also set up inside the swim center, which was nice.

This was a simple out and back course.  There was a water stop around mile 2 and the same water stop was around mile 3 on the way back.  The roads were not closed so there were occasional cars but it was a quiet road so the traffic wasn't too bad.  And it was a beautiful area.  The road was paved but it went through some farmlands behind the swim center.  The only downside is there was one spot where you could smell the fact that it was farmland.  But other than that, it was a beautiful course and a beautiful morning.

The course was hilly but I kept reminding myself that hill work was good practice for RnR DC.  Plus, I haven't been doing much speed work recently so the hills should help compensate for that a bit.

Me alone, on the pretty course

As I mentioned before, there were only 246 participants.  And I'm in the back of the pack.  I finished in 231st place.  But that was kind of cool because between miles 3 and 5, I kind of felt like I was out there on my own.  Big races are always crowded and I love the energy of the crowds, but this was so peaceful, especially with the beautiful surroundings.  There were times when I couldn't see anyone in front of me or anyone behind me.

My official finish time according to the website was 1:04:45 for a 12:57 average pace.  And I was happy with that considering that I had done my 11 mile long run the day before.  This was an interesting experiment in running on tired legs, both days on hilly courses.

After the race was over, we went back to the swim center to get more water and some food.  They seemed to have quite a spread out but I stuck to a banana since I knew we were going out for brunch anyway. But overall, this was a nice, cheap, peaceful race.  I loved the easy logistics and pretty scenery.  I would definitely do this one again.