Packet pickup was held at the various Pacer locations around the city. There was ample time given to pick up your packets. Big plus for being able to pick up friends packets without signed approval or charging. The race shirt was a navy blue tech tee with a simple design (I believe they were gender specific too). Althought the looked nice, they snag easily.
Since this is an A to B race, there is no parking at the beginning. You had the option of either being dropped off near the start line or you could park by one of three shuttle areas. I decided to use the Eisenhower shuttle and parked in the parking garage by the Patent office. I got on the bus around 6 am and it didn't take long for until we departed for the start line. Unfortuntately half way there our bus got rerouted by misinformed police officers. Our bus drive had to drive a little out of the way before he found a police officer willing to open his barricade for us to get through. This only delayed us a little bit.
Once off of the shuttle there were plenty of volunteers directing us to the port o potty lines and the main area with pre race food, emergency blankets, and coffee. Luckily I got there in plenty enough time to meet both of my running groups for our pre race pictures.
I missed half of the openin ceremonies because we couldn't hear that they were going on. I felt really bad because I am a stickler for being quiet during the National Anthem. The start happened right after the opening ceremonies and it didn't take as long as I thought to cross the start line.
The course was beautiful. I have run a few times on the Mount Vernon Trail but it was different getting to run on the main road. I enjoyed the nice open space to run. It did warm up more than I planned on it, so I was glad that I remembered sunscreen.
There was one photo op during the race which was nice for my small group to get a photo. Since I wasn't going for a PR it was nice to be relaxed. At mile 4 I had to slow down because my IT band was starting to bother me. One of the other girls in the group slowed down with me, because the beginning pace was a little fast for her. By mile 8 I told her to go on because my leg was hurting more.
I enjoyed all of the cheering at the water stations and getting to drink water and gatorade. During the last mile we saw more and more spectators cheering us on so we knew we were coming to the end. Luckily after we turned off of Washington is was practically downhill from there.
After the race
At the end of the race, it was easy to get my medal and my post race food box (best idea ever). The line into the beer tent took a while to go through but while I was standing in line a runner came up and ask if I wanted her free beer ticket. That was a blessing. I enjoyed drinking the beers while I waited for my family to come and find me.
The post race entertainment was enjoyable and I enjoyed eating free samples of Krave jerky (If you haven't tried it yet, why not). My only disappointment was the kids play area. They didn't specify that the bouncy house was age specific so I had one upset little one because he couldn't go on it.
Even though I ended this race in pain, I really enjoyed the race. I would totally do this race again.