First St. Patrick's Day Race of the Year
Week 6 of consecutive race weekends. I have run a race on 8 of 10 weekends so far in 2014, and I’m not letting up until it has been at least 13 out of 15. Heck, I can take this streak well into May if I can just find a race of some distance Easter weekend.
Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day 8K was a little windy, but otherwise a nice race in downtown Washington DC. I’d done this one before, so I was familiar with the course that starts at Freedom Plaza, runs down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol, then cuts over to Union Station, snakes around some of the streets near the Capitol and Smithsonian museums, before heading back up to Freedom Plaza. It’s a popular home base for several races of similar distance.
|These girls wished us all the luck o' the Irish as we finished our final mile|
|Running to Union Station, then turning around and heading back|
I met up with friends from Shirlington Running Club and with Karen, a fellow Marathon Maniac and teammate from the 2012 Ragnar Relay DC. In fact, we also had double agent Megan, Half Fanatic Pam, and a good representation from our 2012 Ragnar DC team (Megan, Karen and I ran, while Pam and Jen volunteered). A nice race for a little unofficial reunion.
|Megan, Karen and I, Ragnar teammates; love Karen's T-Rex Runner shirt!|
|Jen, Sandy, Megan, Woody Wilson (again!), Karen and Pam pre-race|
The course was measured by my Runkeeper app and by others’ GPS watches to be a little long at over 5 miles (an 8K is equivalent to 4.97 miles); guess that’s better than the course being short. Still, I ran at a much better pace than I had in the previous week’s Reston 10 Miler. I only walked through the water stops, and for a minute or so to remove my windbreaker and tie it around my waist. I’m sure the slightly warmer air and flat course helped.
Next week I will run another St. Patrick's Day themed race. This week's St. Patrick's Day 8K and next week's Four Courts Four Miler are both Pacers races, but it wasn't always so. The 8K belonged to Capital Running Company before they merged with Pacers a couple years ago. It's nice that Pacers kept both races, as they are in different locations, have unique vibes, and each had an established following. The fact that they're on different weekends makes it possible to run both. More on the Four Courts next week!
|Celtic dancers at the finish area in Freedom Plaza|
|SRC members: Sandy, Pam, Jeff, Megan, Jen|