George Washington Parkway Classic

George Washington Parkway Classic

George Washington Parkway Classic

( 8 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Alexandria ,
    United States
  • April
  • 10 miles
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Washington, District of Columbia, United States
6 8
"Hot and humid, but beautiful course"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Runaway 's thoughts:

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The expo.

Well, this is a Pacers event, so there wasn't an expo. Pacers did provide packet pickup at their stores last weekend and this weekend as well as midweek pickup in Alexandria. I picked my bib and shirt up last weekend at the Logan Circle store. If I hadn't stopped and chatted, the whole pickup process would have taken three minutes. Pacers assigns bib number at pickup which means they don't have to rummage through zip lock bags or boxes to find your number. So easy.

The premiums.

Gender-specific technical race tee and medal (first time for this race to celebrate the 30th running).

The shirt was a dark gray with a design on the front. It fits well, but I am not sure how much I will wear it. While the design is cute, there is a lot of it.

The medal was pretty nice. The zero was a spinner. Overall, I am very happy with the race premiums.

The weather.

The sun was definitely out for this race. At the finish it was 70+ degrees with full sun and a slight cross wind. There was a little shade on the route, but not a lot. I am not much of a warm weather running and today reaffirmed that for me.

The start.

Nikki and I carpooled to Old Town Alexandria this morning. We arrived at 6:30am for an 8am start, and barely made it to the start line. The race is a point-to-point from Mount Vernon to Old Town. Pacers provides bus services from Old Town, Pentagon City, and Eisenhower Avenue.

Buses started at 5:30am and the last bus was leaving at 7am. We waited in line to board the bus for about an hour and 10 minutes. Besides the waiting, the bus ride out was uneventful. Nikki did meet a very chatty line stander that kept the waiting in line interesting.

If we would have planned appropriately, we could have gotten to Mount Vernon in time to go to the bathroom and get some of the goodies. Pacers provided heat sheets, bagels, and fruit. Unfortunately, Nikki and I arrived in Mount Vernon at 7:55am. I bolted to the port-a-potties. Nikki and I, then, navigated through the mass of people to the starting corral. It was very hectic! People everywhere. The starting area was confusing. We weren't sure which way to go for anything. Nikki had done the race before so she knew the corral set up. Nikki and I got into a self-seeded corral, not the right one, but close enough considering we were running so late.

Next time, we will get to Old Town for the bus no later than 6am.

The course.

The course is amazing! It is a net loss in elevation. From Mount Vernon, the first mile is downhill, then you get into about four miles of gentle rolling hills, and then more downhills. There are two short climbs in the last miles once you get into Old Town.

The course is almost completely on GW Parkway. Lots of trees and a run along the river. It is a beautiful course and would be great for a PR, just not my PR on this particular day. Curse the spring weather! (Only on a race day when I am not yet acclimated to the heat, any of day, yes and please.)

The support.

Since it was on GW Parkway, there were limited access points for spectators. Everywhere a road met up with the parkway, there was a small group cheering on family and friends. Water and electrolyte drink were available about every two miles on the course along with some port-a-potties. I don't mind running a race with little crowd support.

The finish.

Like many Pacers events, this was a well-oiled machine until the end. Crossing the finish line, I was immediately handed a bottle of water and my finisher medal. Runners proceeded to the food boxes that included chips, a granola bar, craisins, Nuun tablet, chocolate square, and some blueberry cracker things. I would have taken a photo, but I ate it. Immediately.

Nikki and I met at the medical tent, just because it is easy to spot. We went to get a bagel and banana. Bagel obtained. Bananas gone. I was surprised that there were no bananas left. I am slow, but not that slow.

There was music and a beer tent to cash in the ticket from the bib. I don't drink beer, so Nikki and I avoided that line. But, we did hang out at the park and watched the sail boats while I devoured the food we were given.

My take.

Despite being my "A" race and a plan to PR, it didn't happen. I am blaming the weather. This was the course to do it and I trust my training. I would do the race again, but definitely would get there much earlier so I wouldn't be rushed at the start line.

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