This was my third year running the Crystal City Twilighter. I usually love this race because it’s only 10 minutes away from me, you get a tech-tee with your sign up fee, and there’s plenty of beer at the end!
This was my 3rd time running this race, since it inaugurated in 2008. This year it was my favorite!
The course has changed every.single.year. The first year, the race course was very similar to the 9/11 5k one, going near the front of the Pentagon, before making the way back to Crystal Dr.
Last year, the race course SUCKED. We went up Clark St, which is this street that doesn’t really go anywhere (except to a couple of tow lots). It’s narrow and full of potholes, and the course went through there in both directions, so if you started on the back, you’re stuck dodging walkers or slower runners, but with not enough room to pass them. It was crowded through most of the first half.
I didn’t know what to expect this year, but there was already one huge change: after 2 years of getting a red tech-tee, this year we got a white one! Though I love the red one, surprisingly the white one is pretty nice (you can see a few people wearing it on the pictures below).
I met up with the group around 7pm in front of Cold Stone Creamery (ah, the irony). Karl was missing in action, since he had to drive to upstate NY for his friend’s wedding (I couldn’t go, seeing my parents arrived in town that day).
It was VERY hot, around 102 degrees at this time, but we still got quite a turn out! A bunch of us also wore our “I Run, You Run” group shirts too!
See that guy with a wig on the left? Yep, he actually ran like this… I can’t even imagine how his hair smelled like after the run…
Our friend Ben wasn’t running, but he was out taking pictures (he was the one that took this picture of me…) He got one of Hugi and me out on the course. (I don’t actually run like this, I was waving at him. It looks like I’m doing the cha-cha. On the bright side, I do look super-fast in this picture, huh?)
This year, the course went mostly through Crystal Dr, and I really enjoyed it. The only bad part is that we weaved in and out of driveways, and all those turns meant that my Garmin was completely off. I finished this race without meeting my goal time (I really really really wanted to finish with less than a 10 minute/mile pace, but the 14 miler that morning coupled with the weather in the 100’s didn’t help). My Garmin thought I finished on a 9:53 pace, but it also guessed I had run 3.18 miles. (Which with all those twists and turns, it’s possible.)
I still finished the race with a PR, finishing in 31:28 time at a 10:08 pace (last year I finished it in 10:20 pace). And I did this while walking EVERY water stop (there were about 5 water stops). I have never walked a water stop on a 5k before, but it was too hot to take chances. I took my time drinking water and throwing some on my head and neck. Though I keep thinking I would have met my goal had I not walked the water stops, I remind myself that I might not have made it at all if I didn’t take the time to properly hydrate and let my body cool down a bit.
After the race, we were all super-sweaty… But thank god for all-you-can-drink cold beer…
The numbering on this race was in order of registration, not alphabetical order, or pace. So funnily enough, a few of us had registered right after each other…
And of course, we couldn’t miss an “after” group picture — though some of the people from the group had left by now, we did find others who we missed at the start line!
After having our share of free beer, we headed off to Bailey’s for some food and drinks…
I recognized Heather from Dietitian on the Run, when Pete and Jeff went to talk to them (they all know each other). But of course, I didn’t want to be that creepy person going “OMG! You’re Heather from the blog?”
So much for being coy. Anne, from FANNEtastic Food walked in, and I pointed her out to Lindsay, who had sent me her blog link a few months back. I thought Lindsay was going to have a heart attack. She was literally fanning herself due to all the excitement. So off she went to introduce herself, I said hi, I mentioned to Heather how I had recognized her but thought it was weird approaching her, and surprisingly she recognized me too! That made me feel a bit better…!
Too bad neither of them will be DC bloggers by the time August is over.
Have you ever bumped randomly into another local blogger at a race or event?