I'm glad I was doing this race with friends because I was tempted to skip it when I got up and saw the rain. But we pushed through, it was a 5k so we wouldn't be out there too long and it was on pavement so not too much worry about the footing. Plus, we could then go enjoy a decadent breakfast afterward :)
There was packet pick up the day before the race at a local running store. My friend picked up our packets for us and she said it was super easy. There was also packet pick up on race morning. The line looked pretty long for that though.
The race was in the same location as last year. It is on Ohio Drive, right next to the Potomac River, with the start line right past the Lincoln Memorial. It is a beautiful location, even in the rain. This year, there was no parking on Ohio Drive so we had to park a bit further away and had a longer walk to and from the car. That is the one downside of this race. The nearest metro stop is also about 20 minutes walking so there is no convenient way to get there. We just got there early (7:15 for a 8:30 start time). We stayed in the car until 7:30 or so and then walked to the start line wearing throw away ponchos.
We decided to do a 15 minute warm up run since it was better than just standing in the rain. So we ran the other way along the river and came back by 8:15. That's when they started their official group warm up. After that, there was the flag and singing the national anthem. And we were off! I discarded my poncho in a near by trashcan, started my watch, and joined in.
My initial goal for this 5k was to get it done in less than 35 minutes. My PR for a 5k was set at this race last year and it was 35:11. Well my official time for this one was 34:39! I think part of the reason was that once I saw it was raining, I kind of put thought of getting a PR out of my head. My shoes felt heavy with water and there was a bit of a wind. I just decided I would do my best given the conditions. The lack of pressure probably helped me relax and I was able to feel good the whole way while feeling like I was pushing.
It also helps that this is a really flat course!
I didn't make the negative splits though. That's something I still have to work on.
Another great thing about this race is the free photos and even a free finisher video with your results.
Once we had all finished the race, we went ahead and left as quickly as possible because it was still raining. There was no hanging out and relaxing after the race this year given how wet everything was. But we warmed up in the car and went over to Ted's Bulletin for our breakfast reward.
Overall, this is a great race. The logistics were handled well even in the rain. The course is flat, beautiful, it's not too crowded, and I think all 3 of us got PRs. I definitely recommend this race. The only downside is the parking/metro is not close to the start line so there is a walk before and after and you have to get there early. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The walk back to the car was a nice little cool down.