Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 Semper Fi 5k

I think I've done this race every year since 2014!  That makes this my 5th year doing the race.  That's the sign of a well organized event :)  As always, I really enjoyed it.  You can see my 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 races reviews as well if you want more details.

The race hasn't changed much since 2014.  It was in a different location back then but since 2015, it's been down by the Tidal Basin.  Which means it's a flat course and scenic since it starts close to the Lincoln Memorial and you have views of the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin during the race.


Views from our walk back to the car

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."

The race was at 8:30 instead of 8am this year.  The extra half hour was nice.  We still got there a bit before 7:30 as it's a long walk to the start from anywhere with street parking.  I think it was around a 25 minute walk from where we parked this year.  We also added in a 20 minute warm up (mostly walking) right before the race.  

Pretty much the whole course is next to the river

Another change was that there was no packet pick up on race morning this year.  This seems to be something that more and more races are taking away.  It was a convenient option in the past but this year, thankfully Mike was able to pick up our packets for us on the way home from work the day before the race.  If you're not going to have pre-race packet pick up, at least have a lot of options for packet pick up the week before the race.  They just had 5 hours on Thursday when the packet could be picked up in Virginia and 5 hours on Friday when it could be picked up in DC.  I know last year they had some problems for packet pickup at the race since they lost wireless connectivity so that may be part of the reason they didn't offer that option this year.

We finished our warm up right as the Star Spangled Banner was being sung. And then things moved pretty quickly and we started the race.  There's not much to be said about my performance this year.  Like all of my races recently, I continued to be slow.  I finished this same course in 34:39 in 2016, 38:17 in 2017, and 44:51 this year.  And it's not that I wasn't trying.  I was working hard and my heart rate was high.  But that's how drastically I've slowed down. But at least my splits were fairly consistent.  And I checked the weather differentials according to my Garmin records and it was 55 degrees in 2016, 59 degrees in 2017 and 70 degrees this year, so the extra heat was a factor, I'm sure.

So that was it for this race for 2018.  It continued to be fun and inspirational and I'm sure I'll continue to do this one over the years.