Two Races in One Day!

Saturday was a busy day of races. Yes…"races"…plural! The big event in town was the Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon & Half Marathon. I chose not to run the full or half this year, but instead to run the inaugural 5K that was part of this event. And then, I was challenged to run another race the same morning! The Rock 'n' Roll 5K started at 7:30 AM at RFK Stadium in DC. After my finish, I would hop on the Metro to Arlington to run the Four Courts Four Miler at 9:00 AM. In theory, this was possible, but required all of the following: the 5K had to start on time, I had to run at a decent pace, and the Metro had to be running on schedule. Scot looked up the Metro times for me in advance. I had to make the 8:20 AM Orange Line train from Stadium-Armory station and then arrive at Courthouse Station at 8:50. If I missed this train, I'd be late for the second race. Things worked out well, and I finished both races!

My swag from the two races - really love the Four Courts shirt!

It was an early rise for us on Saturday. Scot and I hosted our friends Eddie and Nilda who were running the marathon with him. We got out the door and drove to RFK Stadium to park near the finish line. My 5K would start and end there, but the marathoners had to Metro to their start line on the National Mall.

At the start of the Rock 'n' Roll USA 5K; I ran my challenge with Magenta the Road Trip Flamingo

Getting ready for the 5K at RFK Stadium; didn't look like that many here, but about 1,000 people finished the inaugural 5K

My 5K went well. I didn't need to sprint, but I needed to make decent time, which I did. The course was fairly boring. We didn't get to see anything of consequence other than RFK Stadium and the DC Armory. It was a pretty basic out & back course. A surprise to me was that the Rock 'n' Roll finish line was moved from previous years. It was farther away from the Metro! I had to hustle across the finish line and actually run to the Metro. I made it with less than a 5 minute cushion.

Once on the Metro, I could relax. I knew I'd make the Four Courts Four Miler start. I had never run this one, but heard that it was a fun St. Patrick's Day themed race. We ran downhill for the first mile of the out & back course; that meant the last mile would be all uphill! But I didn't really care about time, since I was just there to finish my little challenge. Shirlington Running Club staffed the water station, so I saw friends there. When the race finished at Ireland's Four Courts, I braved the long beer lines to get my complimentary Guinness.

I made it to the starting line!

With Sherry and Megan at the SRC water station

With Txu and Magenta at the SRC water station

There's a leprechuan on the course!

Magenta and I enjoy a post-race Guinness

After my Guinness, there was no time to lose. I took Metro back to RFK Stadium to hang out at the finish line and cheer in the marathoners. By this point, most of the half marathoners had finished, but I did see a few friends heading out: Pam from SRC, and Kevin from Florida. Other friends ran the half, but I missed them. The finish chute was divided with the half marathon on one side and the full marathon on the other; I stationed myself on the full marathon side, since that's where I would see the most people I knew this late in the morning.

The first friend I saw finish the marathon was JC, but he was too fast for my camera. I took a picture of him but he was completely out of the frame; nice to see you for a few seconds, JC! I saw several other friends finish: Lisa, Paul, Norma, Alexis, Scot, Eddie, Nilda, and others. And guess who else was at this race? Barry the joggler was there, though I didn't get a picture.

Race walker and 2-time 50 States finisher Alexis

Eddie, the Barefoot Bandito is running a marathon in all 50 states barefoot, for a cause

Nilda finishing the marathon

I was feeling pretty good, having only run 7 miles. My most stressful part of the day was getting to Metro on time in between races. After the race, Scot was tired and grumpy and in some pain, which is pretty much how he ends every marathon. We said our goodbyes to Eddie and Nilda and drove home, stopping to pick up Chipotle burritos on the way (a pretty good post-race recovery food, if you ask me). I had fun doing my little two-race-Metro challenge and spectating at the marathon. I would absolutely do it again!

At Rock 'n' Roll USA finish: Scot, Sandy (Magenta), Eddie and Nilda


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