It’s been a while since my last post – but not since my last race! Yesterday was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in downtown Washington, DC and Nike put on a great show! Everything from the race expo to the post race goodies was awesome. The weather couldn’t have been better either; everything together made for a perfect race day!
A 7:00 am race start meant waking up at the crack of dawn to catch the first metro into the city. I caught the train at 5:15 am with other groggy women dressed in their finest running gear and we rode downtown. After exiting the metro I spotted my gear check tent and found a spot nearby to hang out, snacking on some more pre-race snacks and trying to stay loose. It was still very chilly (low 40s) so I wanted to wait until the last minute to ditch my jacket and check my bag.
The time came to head toward the start so I checked my gear, took a few photos with my colleague Whitney and the rest of our registration team, and then headed to my corral. I felt bad for any local DC residents that were woken up that morning by thousands of women screaming and cheering at the race start! 15,000 women “and a few good men” ready to run the streets of the capitol! Finally the starting gun went off and we were on the move!
The course was awesome – we got great views of the monuments and enthusiastic support from spectators. My favorite part of the course was running along the Potomac River; watching plane after plane take off from Reagan National Airport. Marching bands from local high schools and universities were also posted up along the route, it’s amazing what a little percussion can do to get you going around mile 11! The beautiful scenery and entertaining crowds seemed to make the miles fly by. The water stations featured Nuun – an electrolyte enhanced drink tab that you put into water to dissolve. I had first tried Nuun at the expo on Friday and really liked it, much lighter than Gatorade and no sugar! Other aid stations had Luna bars and chocolate from Whole Foods, but I stuck with my usual fuel of chocolate Gu around mile 7, and two Starbursts (mile 3 and mile 12). Toward the end of the race they had big screens set up on the corner that flashed your name as you ran by, seeing “BRING IT ON TARA” with less than a ½ mile to go sure made me kick it into high gear! I ended up finishing the race in 1:52:32 – a new PR! – with an average pace of 8:05 min/mile (according to my Nike GPS watch). 😀
Nike Women’s Half Marathon: Tara Tested, Tara Approved! I give this race a 9 out of 10! I loved everything about this race – the t-shirt, expo, course, and without a doubt the Tiffany’s pendant for finishers! The social media presence for this race was huge – the Facebook posts and tweets (#werundc) about the race definitely kept me motivated to train months and weeks leading up to the big day! Although the registration fee is pretty steep ($100+), I would definitely recommend running it at least once!