Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Race Review - Nike Women's Half Marathon D.C.

I really enjoyed the Nike Women's Half Marathon in D.C. Even though it was the inaugural year, I felt that the event ran smoothly. Were there some hiccups? Absolutely, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

The race started & ended on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was centrally located, so you could take one of three metros to reach it easily. I personally stayed within walking distance to avoid taking the metro the morning of the race, but they did open the metros at 5 a.m. to accomodate those who did not.

I arrived at the start line at 6 a.m. There was plenty of room to stretch out along the sidewalks, so Eric stayed with me as I warmed up. He then left me at the portapotties, where I waited about 10 minutes. There were plenty of toilets, but the line system was unorganized and I'm positive that people were cutting/being jerks. As I waited, there was music blasting & people were very friendly.

The corrals were organized, but not strictly enforced. You were supposed to have a wrist band to show as you entered your corral, but nobody asked to see mine. Once they closed the cross walks, they expanded the corrals as well. So there was plenty of room to follow along with the warm up that was led by Nike Trainers.

The start had music blasting, people cheering, and featured Olympic athletes giving pep talks as well. Time went by quickly at this point and the atmosphere helped to calm my nerves. Before I knew it, we were off and running.

The first mile of the race took you through a tunnel where there were drummers jamming out and strobe lights flashing. At this point, everyone was packed together and I was running below my pace. This was probably a good thing though, because it held me back from going out too fast.

After we exited the tunnel, we headed towards the National Mall and saw the Washington Monument and Lincoln Monument before crossing the bridge to the Arlington National Cemetary. This was an out and back stretch and when I'd examined the course map I was afraid it'd be tedious. But the sights are totally different going each direction, so it was enjoyable.

Miles 5 to 9 went along the water and the Potomac Golf Course. I ran along with the lady I'd met at the start line. Chatting with her made time go fast, which was appreciated because I was fighting the urge to walk at this point. At mile 8 though, I HAD to use the bathroom. So I parted ways with her and added about 3 minutes to my time. (BOO!)

I made it through miles 8 & 9 knowing that my family was waiting for me at the 10 mile marker. I wanted to be going strong when they saw me & I was! I paused to give peanut a kiss on the cheek then went on for the last 3 miles.

running towards Ella at Mile 10!
Mile 10 takes you back through the tunnel, which was far less crowded at this point. The drums were solid motivation and kept me moving. Mile 11 is where I wanted to sit down and die. I just started to hit the wall. I admit it. I started to walk. I didn't walk long, but it had to be done. Fortunately, the crowds really started to thicken at this point and I didn't want to be that sad girl walking in the final stretch, so I sucked it up and kept going.

Mile 12 takes you towards the U.S. Capital & away from the visible finish line. This is both awe inspiring and frustrating at the same time. The Capital is gorgeous, but the finish line was far more appealing!

running towards The Capital in the final stretch!
I didn't have it in me to spring the last 1/2 mile like I'd been practicing, but I was still proud of my finishing time of 2:14:10. I crossed the finish line, collected my necklace from a handsome fireman, grabbed some grub & my t-shirt, then started hunting for my family. The finish line area was packed and I didn't even attempt to get in line for the finisher's expo. Getting out of the finish area was hectic enough, especially with a stroller.

with my cheer section at the finish line!

Overall, I LOVED this race. I'm so happy that I chose it to be my first. I love my medal. I love my shirt. I loved the course. I most definitely reccomend it. If you want to run it with me next year, just say the word! I would do it again in a heart beat. 

My race gear! Loving my 1/4 zip Dri-Fit Shirt & Finisher's Necklace!


  1. ABOUT TIME! It is as if you have work, a baby and husband to deal with ... !

    Seriously, great to read this - I loved my first half marathon ... though mine was on the Catherine Valley Trail outside of Watkins Glen - so not quite DC (wife and I and kids loved the Zoo when we went there a few years ago on vacation).

    Glad you finished strong as possible - and I *love* the finisher necklace, it is really great looking.

    I am sure you learned a lot from your race, I know I learned a ton from mine ... and continue to learn with each new race!

    Thanks again for sharing all of this cool stuff about your trip and the race!

  2. Bri, I recently started reading your blog and I'm so encouraged to get out and run after work today. I've always wanted to run a half marathon and this one seems like it would be awesome. I'm going to seriously consider it for next yearThanks so much for the great recap and congrats on your awesome finish!

    Brittany @

  3. I was so excited to read your posts once you returned from DC!

    I'm training for my first half coming up in December and I would love to challenge myself to make it to the DC one next year. I would love the energy from the crowd and I hope that is what I will get in September!

    Congratulations! Do you just feel on top of the world?

  4. This is a dream of mine! Congratulations!! (PS I'm here from Olive and Ivy!!)

  5. I stumbled onto your blog from another runner friend of mine and had to catch myself. I totally saw your cheer section while I was running! Congrats on finishing-our bling was fun!!?

  6. I purchases the same green 1/2 zip Nike shirt-LOVE it!

  7. I just found your post via Pinterest and I am so glad I did, now I am even more excited! I am running the race this year and it will be my second half, the Disney Princess 2014 being my first.