The expo was really small at a runner store by the Potomac Mills Mall. It would have been really quick to get in and out if I didn't have my kids with me. Once inside the store it was really quick to pick up my bib and my race t shirt. I did listen to one of the volunteer tips about where to park and what time to arrive.
My morning started off pretty crappy because I slept through my alarm. I was in charge of a carpool so I felt that I let the other two ladies down, but one of the had a car and they drove ahead of me. Luckily I had everything laid out the night before so it didn't take me much time to run out of the door.
The drive to Prince Williams Forest was uneventful even though I left later than I wanted to. I easily found one of the parking lots by the shuttles and made the short walk to one of the shuttle buses. The coach shuttle buses were warm and comfy which was a pleasant surprise. I expected either city buses or school buses.
Immediately after I got off the shuttle, I decided that I needed to get in the huge port o potty lines. Although the lines didn't seem to long, it took forever for them to move.
Next I got to stand in the gear check line. They really could have used a couple more volunteers to make it go faster. I got done with gear check right before the beginning ceremonies. For once I got a nice view of the ceremonies After the ceremonies they brought us up on the street where I thought we were going to find pace markers to line up behind but they didn't have any. When I realizes that I was lined up near the front I immediately stepped off the course to let all of the speeding runners go and then I jumped in after a few minutes.
During the Race
It was so windy that you froze, but once we got into the forest the trees protected us from the wind which was a huge blessing. The first two miles we were packed like sardines running, so I didn't get to start my intervals as soon as I am use to. I saw some intervals runners get run into by runners who weren't paying attention to the hand signals. The beginning of the course was definitely not meant for this many people especially when everyone started at the same time.
There was a lot of support on the course at each add station. The also had medics placed throughout the course which made me feel good running up and down the gravel hill. The course was hiller than I thought it would be (I guess they change the course every year to keep people guessing). I did love running through the woods, but after a while I did wish for other scenary.
I loved seeing my fellow MRTT mommas at one of the water stops. Getting hugs and cheers from them helped me push on. Something in my left leg was screaming around mile 8 so I had to take it easy the last three miles which meant the last couple hills I felt like I was crawling up them.
After the race
I enjoyed the cheering from all of the spectators and Marines as I came to the finish line. Receiving my medal and the access granted card (which gave me my code for entereing the MCM marathon) was the best feeling in the world.
There wasn't much race food left when I got through the lines, but at least I got a banana, a bottle of water, and a fruit cup. I also a disposable zip up MCM jacket to keep warm (which I still have in my running drawer).
The gear pickup took forever and most of my friends had left before I got my bag. Oh well I still got a selfie in front of a couple of cool Marine trailers before I hopped on my shuttle back to my car.
If I was going to be in the area next year, I would so do this race again. It was well worth the money, though I would probably think twice about checking a gear bag.