Hi friends! We are almost home from an awesome weekend in DC for the Army Ten Miler! We stopped at Fort Bragg last night to stay with one of our best friends who incidentally is about to PCS to Stewart … WOO! Our weekend was full of fun times with our Army family, meeting up with some blends, and running an awesome race. Today I am just going to focus on the Army Ten Miler though.
Saturday afternoon Chris, Emmie, and I hopped on the metro from south DC to head to the Armory to pick up our packets. I have to say packet pick-up was seamless and much faster than I anticipated. When entering the armory there was a separate entrance for DOD card holders to bypass security lines. Pick-up was by bib-number and Chris and I had ours and our t-shirts within 5 minutes. We didn’t hang long at the expo because we had important things to do like meet some blends 😉 Although we didn’t hang out we did notice that there was a wide selection of vendors and tons of military booths as well.
On our way out of the expo we ran into Lani who we were heading to meet. We all took the metro to Eastern Market to meet-up with Anne, Lisa, and Katie! I was SO flipping excited to meet these awesome women. Lisa, Katie, and I also got our kiddos together. Seriously, too much blog baby cuteness in one spot!
One of my favorite parts about blogging is the community. Getting to meet some of my favorite blends is icing on the cake. These women are JUST like how they are on their blog which made me feel like I have known them forever. We had a blast chatting about Anne’s wedding, the kiddos, and the upcoming race since Lani, Anne, Katie, and I were all running. I am already thinking about when I can come back to DC so we can hang out again 😉
Sunday was race day. Chris and I got up at 5:30AM to leave by 6:15AM. We arrived at the Springfield metro station to hop on the blue line at 6:45AM and arrived at the Pentagon no later than 7:30AM. Anne talked to the race people on Saturday and they said cell phones and cameras were subject to confiscation and Chris convinced me to follow the rules. Low and behold EVERYONE had their phones. Oh well … I’ll know better next time 😉 We got in the lines for the potties and had no problem getting in. The closer to race time though the lines got out of control.
One of the most memorable moments for me of the entire race happened before it even started. All of a sudden the notes of the National Anthem came one and silence overcame all 30,000 people. Seeing Soldiers standing at attending in their running clothes, retired military saluting, and families in reverence for our flag in nation gave me chills. I don’t think there are many races that this would happen.
As we were making our way to the start line I turned around and saw that Katie was right behind me! It was great running into her before we got going. Before I knew it we were starting. Chris and I were treating this as a training run for the Savannah Rock-N-Roll. We planned on taking it nice and easy, stay together, and just soak up what promised to be an incredible experience. It didn’t disappoint. It’s not every day you get to run by so many historical sites.
As far as the course goes I honestly have no complaints. What you DCers might consider flat is rather hilly for Chris and I coming from literally FLAT Savannah. Even with the hills and inclines I felt strong and confident. Chris and I kept a running dialogue most of the race when we weren’t dodging other runners. I never once was out of breath and I felt great. We walked thru the 3 water stations and kept our pace steady. My unofficial Garmin time:
Official time was 1:38:48 for an average of 9:45/mile. At the end of the race I knew I could have run another 3.1 and maintained the same pace. This is increasing my excitement levels for a hopeful PR in 2 weeks 🙂 Overall this was one of the most memorable races and events I have been a part of. There was something incredibly special about running this particular race with my Soldier. I thought it was well organized, executed, and awesome. I highly recommend doing it at some point if you can.
Have you ever run the Army Ten Miler? Is there a particular race that is very memorable to you?