Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Semper Fi 5k

This is the 4th year I've done this race.  I've loved it every year!  You can see my 2014, 2015 and 2016 races reviews as well if you want more details.  Not much has changed between 2015 and this year's race.  It's a scenic and flat course.  It's been a PR for me every year except this year.  This year, I knew I hadn't been training for a 5k PR so I planned for it to just be a fun race where I tried to push myself but also enjoy the beautiful course.

The things I love about this race start right away with registration.  When you register, the receipt tells you how much of the fee went toward the race costs and how much went toward the charity. I love this type of transparency!  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."

Scenic walk between the car and the race

One of the things I don't love about this race is the transportation situation.  Metro doesn't open until 7am and the nearest stop is about a 20 minute walk according to the race instructions.  And they want you at the start by 7:30am for an 8am race start.  There is no way that public transportation will work for most people given that timing!  And there is no parking right by the race start.  So we always just get there early and find parking about a 15 minute walk away.  We got there a little before 7 this year.  

Race start area

We found parking easily at that time of morning and then walked over to the race start.  We stood in the packet pick up line and it moved pretty quickly for us.  We then put on our bibs and checked the rest of the gear they gave us.  Bag check was also really smooth.  Our timing was good because it turns out that a little later, they lost wireless connection for their computers and had a long delay in packet pick up because they couldn't look people up to see if they were registered.  This caused long lines later and the race was actually delayed by about 15 minutes because of this.

Since we were so early, my friend and I went for a 1 mile warm-up jog.  It's such a beautiful area so we always like doing that before this race.  We went in the direction opposite the race so we could see more of the area :) 

We got back from our warm-up to learn about the delay.  We watched the group warm up and chatted until time for the national anthem.  After the anthem, things moved quickly and we all moved toward the start line.  This is the first year where they had two waves, the first wave for runners and the second wave for walkers.  This is a very walker friendly race with lots of walkers so I really liked this change.  It helped with the congestion and I never felt too crowded.  We had lined up at the back of the runner wave and it worked out pretty well.

was pretty happy with my paces being relatively consistent.  And I felt like I put in an even effort and pushed hard at the end.  The temperatures weren't too hot and it was overcast, which was nice, but it was also pretty humid.  Overall, I think we all had a good time and really enjoyed the race.  This is one that I can definitely see myself continuing to do.