Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zooma Annapolis 10k

The Zooma Annapolis race was the first weekend of June and I did the 10k with a friend.  What is Zooma?  Well, here's the description on their website.

"Imagine a powerful sea of women on the move – encouraging fellow runners, creating unforgettable moments, getting strong, and celebrating personal running triumphs.  Picture an inspiring weekend filled with strong women, yoga sessions, intelligent speakers, an exciting expo, and celebrations in an unforgettable resort location.  This is Zooma." 

We figured this sounded like the perfect opportunity for a girl's weekend!  Since it was Annapolis in June and neither of us does well with racing in the heat, we decided to sign up for the 10k.  I love that the race had multiple options for the distance, 5k, 10k and half marathon.

There was no packet pick up on race morning.  You could choose to come to the expo the day before or they would mail you your packet for an extra fee.  Since we were making it a girl's weekend, we decided we'd go to Annapolis on Friday and check out the expo.  The host hotel was really nice but a bit more than we wanted to pay so we got a cheaper room about 10 miles away.  For those that did stay at the host hotel, the expo was right there and the start/finish was in walking distance.

So we got to the expo the evening before the race and parked at the hotel.  I think we got there a bit before 5 and it wasn't too crowded at all.  And it was pretty small, with just a couple tables of vendors selling stuff.  And some of the vendors were an interesting choice for a running event, for example, the people selling lipstick.  But we got our packet with no wait at all, found some fun things to buy, and sampled some wine :)

Tank top and visor I bought at the expo

After browsing, we realized we were at just the right time to catch some of the talks.  So we went into the adjoining room to listen to the course preview.  I've never done this for a race before but it was really helpful.  They pointed out the turns, the hills, the particularly scenic areas, and the fact that there isn't that much shade on the course.  We also listened to the founder of Another Mother Runner talk about race day tips.  She was really funny as well as being informative and I'm glad we stayed for the talks.  I'll have to look for that more at other expos.

But we left before the next talk because we were hungry!  We went to the restaurant that was right there in the hotel and had some delicious drinks and dinner.


And then back to the room and an early bed time.  The race started at 7am and the preview had mentioned that the traffic can back up getting into the parking so we wanted to get there early.  We left our hotel at 6, hit no traffic, and were parking by 6:15. 


The race started at the Navy stadium so there was plenty of parking available and the volunteers were doing a great job directing traffic.  We walked towards the start line and given the size of the race, it never felt too crowded, even when we lined up to start.


I'm glad we chose the 10k course as it seemed to include the most scenic parts of the course!  It was beautiful and we split of from the half marathoners somewhere between miles 4 and 5.  My understanding is that the rest of the course was mostly highway.  In addition the being pretty, the course was definitely sunny and this did hit me a bit hard towards the end of the race.  It was also a bit hilly at parts because we were crossing bridges.  But overall, I loved the course.  Here are some photos of things i saw along the way.






I wasn't actually racing this race for time given that I knew it would be hot.  So I just had a good time along the way, enjoyed the scenery, and took photos.  My heart rate was high anyway, I guess because of the heat and humidity.


The finish was back at the stadium and I loved the way they set it up.  There were snacks, free wine (I think everyone had two drink tickets, though we only used one of ours).  There was also more shopping and free yoga sessions.


We hung out a bit and then headed back to the room to clean up, check out and get some lunch. Overall, I would definitely recommend this race.  It was well organized, things went smoothly, and it was a lot of fun!