2016 Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Race Report

It's about time I blogged about Rock 'n' Roll DC from back in March. Scot did the marathon while I ran the half. We don't run a lot of Rock 'n' Roll races but this one's local and we can get an early bird discount by registering a year in advance...so, why not? I was registered for the full, but after my bad experience at the Tokyo Marathon, I needed a simple victory. I dropped to the half rather than worry about finishing the full in the 5:30 time limit. I know, many people cross the finish line of this race after 5:30, but they are re-routed by course marshals and don't get to run the full 26.2 miles. I needed a successful half marathon rather than a less than full marathon. So I made the decision to drop to the half and ease the pressure on myself to perform.

Scot and I met up with other Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics for a pre-race picture on the National Mall before everyone dispersed and got into their corrals. The corrals lined Constitution Avenue. I found Maniac Sherry in my corral, or rather, she found me. We wouldn't be running the same pace, but it was nice to say hi to a friendly face.

Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics before the start; Scot's not in the pic because he took it

I was pretty much on my own for the whole race. But I didn't mind. I'm accustomed to running alone in races, and I'm not usually bored unless there are few participants and the course is blah. This one had lots of participants and an interesting course. I've run it several times, so I knew what to expect. There are some hills in DC, if you didn't know! But there are also some interesting landmarks and neighborhoods.

These two were too adorable in the start corral 
Corral 18, and it kept going back; this is a big race

Ready to start!

I ran my run-walk intervals and walked extra up some of the hills, including the killer one up to Calvert Street from the Rock Creek Parkway. This section of the course was supported by Wear Blue to Remember and was reminiscent of the Blue Mile during the Marine Corps Marathon. Everyone was cheering us up the long and steep hill.

Going up the big hill

And looking back down...

I knew that there would be beer on this course, and I was looking forward to it. I didn't have a time goal, and I was only running a half, so I was ready for some fun on the course. I wasn't disappointed. There was not one, but four "drinks stations" that I counted, plus another promise of Guinness, but I never found those guys. The best drinks were on Harvard Street, where a small group of neighbors were pouring whisky and champagne. I took a whisky (it was only a fraction of a shot) and complimented them on their choice of pouring more high-class drinks. The reply I received was: "of course, this is HARVARD STREET!". Well, okay then. They know how to party. And later on down Harvard Street there was good craft beer by Devil's Backbone. But Harvard wasn't the only street to take care of the runners; Bryant Street also had beer (Natty Bo) and a choice of margaritas or rum punch. I chose the small shot of margarita.  I just love that the people come out of their houses early on a Saturday to serve drinks to the runners. Even if you don't stop and partake, that's hospitality!

Champagne and whisky on Harvard from these awesome peeps

With my whisky - cheers!

My heroes on Bryant with the rum punch and margaritas

Fueled by the friendly booze and challenged by the hills, I was then onto the last few miles of the course. We ran a bit on North Capitol Street with a great view of the Capitol Building as we drew near. Then we turned off and wound around to the finish by RFK Stadium and the DC Armory. I finished my race about on the pace I expected. I would have been maybe 5 minutes faster if I hadn't stopped for all the drinks. I didn't mind.

I'm finished!

After I retrieved my gear bag I headed over to the official beer tent to have my Michelob Ultra and listen to the band for a bit. And then I made my way back to the finish chute to cheer in all my friends who were running the marathon. I missed a couple of the fasties since I spent time in the beer tent, but I did get to see most of the other people I know finish.

Alexis in the finish chute
Jody finishing
Scot running it in

Overall, it was a good day for me at this year's Rock 'n' Roll DC. Glad I ran the half instead of the full.

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