Race Recap: 2013 Inaugural Nike Women Half Marathon DC

Pre race, courtesy of Ashley.
Pre race, courtesy of Ashley.

This weekend was one I had been looking forward to ever since I first hear the whisperings of an expansion of the Nike Women Marathon event to include both coasts (San Francisco and now, Washington DC). I was fortunate enough to be able to register under their ‘College Program’ which meant that I was not only allowed guaranteed entry (for the general public, it’s a lottery) but a price break as well ($125 vs. $160).

After a fabulous month of racing (April 7 – Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, April 20 – Blue Ridge Half Marathon) this was the last stop on my road map! Hubs and I headed up on Saturday to packet pickup in Georgetown.

I have to admit – this was the least magical part of the weekend:

50 min wait...yikes!
50 min wait…yikes!

First off, when we got down to the waterfront area (where the Packet Pick Up and Expotique were located) it was MOBBED. Yes, the expo started Thursday – but for those of us traveling from out of town, Saturday was really the only option. We arrived a little bit before 3 PM and were misdirected toward the expotique (mistake) which we wandered around for 5 minute before I stopped to ask a volunteer where the packets were – yup, we were definitely in the wrong place.

Once we were in the RIGHT place, I could NOT believe the line – it stretched on…and on…and on. In all, we waited about 50 minutes…but the volunteers in the tent were AWESOME, so I couldn’t be perturbed for too long 😉

After a quick pitstop at Baked and Wired, we were back on the road to Northern VA to stay with my friend Allie. We had a low key evening – her awesome parents made us a great dinner and we chatted until 10-ish so we could get up bright and early for the drive in to DC.

Pre-race setup!
Pre-race setup!

Race morning, our battle plan was this: hubs would drive us into the city, he’d find a parking spot, then we’d rendezvous with him later. I had posted my completed costume online so I think I was pretty findable 😉

Costume selfie!
Costume selfie!

I had to meet up with Anna (I had picked up her packet) and then Danielle (who I’d be running with) and that went smoothly as well. Before long, we were filing into our corrals and we lined up (D, me, Ashley and her friend Rita(?)). IT WAS SO CROWDED! It was announced that Shalane Flanagan was in the front but we were so far back we didn’t see her. Oh well! The race started and we were off on the streets of DC.

Now, I have PLENTY of friends that PR’d today (BIG CONGRATS) but D, A and I were out for one thing only: SUPER FUN. We are all at different points in race training, so it was a day to just soak it all in and enjoy. The original loose goal was 8:30s to 8:45s, but we were packed in so tightly, the first few miles clicked off closer to the 9 minute mark. Not like we were worried!

Pic courtesy Andy.
Pic courtesy D’s hubs, Andy.

We chatted about all things running, random and fun through all 13.1 miles. The course was very similar to the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, but with a few extra parts to add in that extra 5K. I know D would totally roll her eyes to hear this, but I definitely feel like the miles just clicked off in this one, especially since my Garmin was all jacked up from the tunnel and it starting about .1 miles late due to it timing out before we crossed the timing mat 😉

Final official time – 1:58:35 (apx 8:50ish pace)

A few notes on the course:

  • About halfway through the race, we stopped in real bathrooms in Hains Point. They had a line, but it was more important for us to stick together so it wasn’t a big deal.
  • I LOVED HAVING NUUN on course!
  • I also grabbed the mini Luna bars on course, but didn’t eat them, just stuffed ’em into my running short pockets. I ate one on the way back to Allie’s house afterward.
  • I DID take one Hammer gel as fuel (carried with me) and have to say: APPLE CINNAMON IS AMAZING. Thanks, Kris and Mindy for the rec.
  • There were lots of…errmm… inexperienced racers on course – read: not the best etiquette – and I definitely had elbows thrown into me, a cup of water dumped onto my foot (yay squishy shoe) but we just rolled with the punches so NBD.

Because really? This:

Tiffany blinggg.
Tiffany blinggg.

That little blue box, coupled with the memories of just running and feeling free and happy outweighed any of the other drama of the weekend. Sure, I think there’s definite room for improvement (organizationally-wise) but with it being an inaugural event, that was to be expected.

And again:

Close-up of the finisher necklace.
Close-up of the finisher necklace.

Today’s race was the PERFECT way to cap out another great month of running and racing – especially in the wake of events that have really shaken up the running community. Events like today’s showed just how strong we all can be when we stand (and RUN) together and I couldn’t be more proud to call myself a runner.

What’s been your best running memory of April 2013?

57 thoughts on “Race Recap: 2013 Inaugural Nike Women Half Marathon DC

  1. Thanks for staying with me! I had a blast. It’d been far too long. Thanks for letting me pick your brain about all things running/racing/marathoning too. And a huge thank you to Brad for playing chauffeur.

    • YES! So glad to spend time with you and your awesome family ❤ And CONGRATS on your amazing half time, girl!!!!

    • Thanks, Shannon! It definitely was a crowded race – of course, my speedy pal Allie was like, “What, it was nice and empty where I was?!” Hehe, she rocked a sub-8 pace those first few miles, I guess that’s the key to a clear path 😉

  2. What a cute costume Krissy!! And the bling looks amazing 🙂 I want to enter the lottery for next year’s race, would love to run in DC!

  3. I love the costume! I heard everyone start cheering but I had no idea what the guy said until after the race a woman was telling her husband about the “famous runners” and how tiny Shalane Flanagan is…

  4. You always have the CUTEST costume ideas! How were those pearls to run with? Annoying? They would drive me nuts, but looking fabulous is so much more important. I really want to run the Nike Women’s in SF sometime. However, after having just run the RnR in SanFran I still have a bitter taste of those nasty hills in my mouth. BUT, I really want some Tiffany’s bling!

  5. It was fun to run into you after another DC race! 🙂 I was lucky to arrive on Friday so it took just a minute to pick-up my race number. I was also fortunate to see Joan Benoit Samuelson and Shalane Flanagan at the Expo and Nike Store before a shake-out – what an awesome experience!

  6. It sounds like it was fun and yet crowded, I guess that’s to be expected in a race like this, hopefully they will sort through the bumps next year… Your outfit was amazing and that necklace is adorable.. congratulations

    • Thanks, Lisa! Yes! And the thing that was funny was that I talked to so many people and they all had such different experiences..for instance, those that were lucky enough to attend PP on Thur or Friday commented that PP was a breeze and those that lined up in the front of their corrals had very little crowding!

  7. Congrats, Krissy! I think that the issue is some bigger charity groups don’t know how to address the etiquette. I know my TNT group addressed it but I am not sure all do. I am slow so I end up in the back of the pack and I feel like some treat it as a walking 5k and don’t realize that others have goals & there is an etiquette/protocol. That being said, it’s one thing if they don’t know and another if they know and don’t care.

    • Agree about the big difference in knowing or not caring!! I ran with TNT last year and my coach definitely emphasized to us several times about being respectful on the course since large groups can get bad reputations easily from just a few that don’t check their attitudes. Fortunately, the good outweighed the bad and we stilll had a fantastic time…and this event raised several million for LLS which is the most important!! 😀

  8. Love your outfit for this race!!!! Perfect. Congrats on such a fun and bling-filled day 🙂

    • Thanks, Bari! I had a great time out there and SO many ppl recognized my costume which made me happy!!!

    • I was so excited to not only meet you, but run with you for a bit!! 😀 Like I said on the course, blue is your color!! ❤

  9. I’m not really sure why it’s so hard for some runners to follow the rules that the rest of us do on a daily basis. Sounds like you had a fantastic day! You look so happy in your photos!

  10. Love the costume!! And how perfect!! Congrats on a great race!! I’m bummed we didn’t run into each other – but there is always next time. I looked for you on the course but I think you are way too speedy for me! 🙂 I did try Baked + Wired on your recommendation – um, DELICIOUS!!! All in all, it was a great day and a really fun race.

    • Thanks for the kind words…and now I am craving another hammer gel….mmmm 🙂

  11. Love your running costume!! And the necklace!! I’d love to run the Nike Women’s race again sometime…
    Congratulations on a great race with good friends!

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