I Ran the Navy Air Force Half Marathon on a Whim

One of the things I like about running so many races so close together in time is that I'm always trained for a race. I'm not necessarily optimally trained, ready to earn a new PR, but I can at least complete any race up to a marathon. I'm willing to bet I could also finish a 50K, although I've never run one.

The 3rd annual Navy Air Force Half Marathon took place in Washington DC on 9/14/14. The last two years I was out of town and unable to participate. This year I didn't plan to register, not knowing Scot's schedule. When we found out he had to work that morning, I decided to register and run while he was at work. I signed up just 15 minutes before registration closed on Thursday for the Sunday race.

The race expo was held at Nationals Park and was pretty small. There were a few vendors, but it was certainly not a big event.


Inside Nationals Park at the race expo

Inside Nationals Park a few days before the team became NL East champs!

I took Metro to Smithsonian Station as the starting line was right by the Washington Monument. I knew that my friends Letty and Sid would be there, so I searched for and found them both.

Walking from Metro to the race start

Impromptu Half Fanatic photo at the start (love Letty's outfit!). There were quite a few other HFs at the race, but we didn't organize a formal photo.

The weather was beautiful: slightly cool to start, and never getting out of the 60s, with sun. The course was very similar to the  Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, except that we went farther up Rock Creek Park.

Running the circle across the Memorial Bridge; this is part of just about every large race course in DC

What a beautiful day for a run, or anything, really, in DC!

As I usually do, I pretty much took it easy. I had a good race. I didn't run hard, but I also didn't struggle through fatigue or injuries. My sights were on my crazy fall schedule of several new marathon states, the first one just 6 days after this half marathon. Basically, I ran this half marathon as a training run and finished at my average half marathon pace.

I looked for the unofficial beer stations that were on Hains Point during the Cherry Blossom, but none were there. Not only are there fewer participants in this race, there are fewer spectators, and because it is still fairly new, I think many locals don't even know about the race.

After I finished, I found Letty and Sid, and Half Fanatic Dolores from Mississippi, whom I'd met at the start. We talked about the race, snapped a few pics, and said our good-byes.

Letty takes a photo as Sid finishes the race carrying Old Glory

Letty, Sid, Me, Dolores in front of a cropped Washington Monument

I'd run this race again. It was well-organized and had a good energy. I recommend it to anyone looking or a fun fall half marathon. The race is also associated with the Navy Five Miler, so there is a shorter distance for those not quite up to 13.1.

With my medal; the image is a section of the race logo. Nice.

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