I was running the double dash, so I started the 10K by first making my way back up the hill. I had about 17 minutes, so we started a brisk pace walking up the hill, but noticed a lot of other people around us with no medals, so assumed they were all making their way to the second race so we felt in good company. The problem was, on the way up the hill we saw the mile 1 marker, and quickly realized we the finish line was not “just about a mile” as we thought. As we got closer, there was suddenly a flood of a lot of racers coming towards us. Crap. So we put it into a jog because we knew we weren’t where we needed to be. When we reached the start line, thankfully it wasn’t closed off, closed down, or in any way “you’re too late”, so we crossed the line and started our second race 8 minutes behind. I wanted to give everyone else a lead to feel good.
The 10K course followed the same exact path of the 5K, down through Courthouse and Rosslyn then onto the 110. The only difference was that the out and back portion went out further before coming back. The city portion again was the nicest and we took advantage of the downhill portions to try and gain a little time up front. Between being tired after running back to the start and starting late, we wanted to try and gain some back while the course was giving us the advantage. The temperature was starting to rise now and the sun was feeling a little hot. I didn’t look closely at the map, but knew the course allowed us to go out to the Pentagon, so I was happy when we reached it. Unfortunately, the Pentagon is quite large, so we saw it for quite a while. The added difficulty of the highway portion was that the sun got very hot very quick (upper 80s), more so than expected. That was very draining on the second race. I had been well stocked with my Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel filled with Nuun. As the race went on, I filled up boy ottles with more water and then proceeded to dump a cup (or two later on) on my head to help cool down. It worked well with my BUFF UV Multifunctional Headband (that’s a mouthful) to keep cool and the sun off my head. Unfortunately, I didn’t think through the two races as the combined distance and instead as the individual pieces, so I wasn’t prepared in the fuel department. Coupled with the heat and liquid only (minus 1 banana on the hill and 1 GU pack) my stomach was sloshing and I was energy depleted.
Now we get to a slightly unfortunate part of our journey. Towards the very end, we new we were near the back but had seen some people behind us on the out and back. Then we saw the first cart carrying people from the back of the pack. Then, a course marshall on a bike was next to us and we could hear him talking about number of people on the course and where, so we knew we were in danger. He gave us the low down, that we had to make it back to the city before that cart grabbed the people behind us and then came back for us. He also said they had to open up in 6 minutes. It seemed a stretch but doable. Then the police SUV picked up the group behind us and asked us for a ride, and we said we wanted to keep running as long as we were allowed so asked if we had to get in. We did not, but 1 minute later the cart was back to pick us up. *sigh* we were “swept”. So they drove us up to essentially the end of the highway so that we were back on county property they said which they were allowed to keep open. From looking at my tracking, my guess was right, and we only got pulled for a quarter of a mile exactly. I can’t help but have fleeting thoughts of “if you gave us the 6 minutes you said” or “if we had just been back to the start with those extra 8 minutes” but the reality is in running and in life, you need to just keep moving forward, and we did.
We finished out as strong as we could from there and crossed the finish line, to an official time of 1:32:18. The best part is there were still a couple of people in that little section of the city cheering us on.