|After my 10K finish, getting warm in my hoodie|
You still have an excuse to carbo load, just don't go overboard. Scot and I met with some of our Marathon Maniac friends at Vapiano the night before the marathon. It was another good time spent with good people. Apparently, lots of other runners were there for an early dinner of pre-race carbo loading, and the restaurant didn't know what hit them.
|Most of the Marathon Maniac pre-race dinner crew|
|Scot and I enjoyed getting to know new Maniacs Jonathan and Georges at dinner|
The 10K has a noteworthy start. The big, inflatable starting arch on the Mall may not launch as many runners, and might not have as phenomenal of an opening ceremony, but it’s still good. We saw the colors presented and heard a good rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. We got to start our race among some of our country’s most famous monuments. And something extra fun occurred this year. Before our 10K start, there was a dog race to mark the upcoming show Dogs of War on A&E. The show is about service dogs who are paired with veterans with PTSD. The race featured several dogs and their owners/handlers. It was fun to watch.
|A still shot from my video of the dog race|
We get to run the infamous 14th Street Bridge. This bridge over the Potomac River on I-395 is the one that the marathon runners need to cross to get back into Virginia at a certain time during the race. If they don’t make the bridge in time, they will not be allowed to finish the race. “Beat the Bridge” is a well-known saying relating to the MCM. For the 10K, we ran across the bridge early in our race and didn’t need to worry about beating it. But we did get the mind-numbing tedium or running across it just like the marathoners.
The 10K has the same iconic finish as the marathon, running up the hill to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, colloquially known as the Iwo Jima memorial. It’s a short hill, but it’s a steep hill and it can be tough at the end of your race with just .2 miles to go. It’s awesome that the 10K runners get to experience the same finish.
|The 10K Mile 6/marathon Mile 26|
|Soon I would turn left up that hill that is lined with spectators|
There's great swag. There’s a medal, for one thing. Most 10Ks don’t offer medals. The 10K medal is smaller and not as noteworthy as the marathon medal, but that only makes sense. The 10K runners are treated to the same post-race food and drink as the marathoners. And we get a similar mock-neck race shirt.
|Front of winter weight MCM10K tech shirt|
|Back of 10K shirt|
It’s an opportunity to meet new people. After I finished my 10K, I got my bag from gear check, then headed over to the beer tent to celebrate my finish. While I was there, I struck up conversations with both 10K runners and marathon runners (fast marathon runners). I enjoyed the camaraderie or sharing a race experience and learning other people’s stories.
It’s fun to cheer on the marathoners. After my refreshment break, I went back to the top of the finish hill to watch Scot come in. Then the two of us stayed at the finish to cheer the remaining marathoners up that hill. Many of them we knew, but most of them we didn’t know. They were all accomplishing something great, and we understood that the slowest runner out there sometimes needs the most encouragement. While other spectators filtered out as their friend or family member finished the race, a few of us stayed until the very end. Scot even went back to find one of our friends who we knew might be having a tough day. Unfortunately, our friend didn’t finish the race, but Scot found the back of the pack and walked in with them and encouraged them.
|Lori made it up the hill and is turning into the finish|
|Linda finishing MCM strong|
|Here comes Doug up the hill after a tough marathon|
|Scot and a 10K runner escort the last marathon finisher up the hill|
|Sporting my 10K medal while Scot and Angela wear their awesome marathon medals|
Next year I’ll be registered to run the 40th annual MCM. I will not want to defer this one. But there’s a very high chance of me running the 10K again another year. It’s a good distance, a well-managed race, and a great experience.