We flew to DC the afternoon before the Washington, DC Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon. After taking the train from Reagan National to the Hyatt Place, I found out that I had directed us to the wrong Hyatt Place and that we were several blocks, two train rides and a 15-minute walk away from our actual hotel. Not the start I had planned. After we found the right Hyatt Place, we went to packet pickup at the Armory, where there was a security line to get in requiring a long wait in the cold. Once in, the pickup was efficient.
It had been pleasant in DC the week before, but the week of the run, the temperature dropped to the 20’s. It was going to be our coldest half marathon yet. The forecast had the start time at a balmy 24 degrees with a wind chill of 14 degrees.
The morning of the Washington DC Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon, it was truly cold, painfully cold. We layered up, checked bags with dry clothes for the finish line and took a few photos at the Mall while we waited for the start.
The Washington, DC half marathon is a one-way run. It starts at the Mall and ends at RFK Stadium. You run past the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Kennedy Center and about 1,000 lonely gloves who miss their mate.
The people running were nice, and the course wasn’t that crowded. I guess the cold may have prevented the sane folks from joining us.
One memory I’ll keep is getting a little emotional during the Blue Mile. It was positioned at a beast of a hill between miles 6 and 7. The portraits of fallen soldiers, folks out enduring the cold to cheer you on, flags waving and pushing yourself up a hill are enough to make you feel your humanity.
Past that hill, the rest of the course felt like a breeze. No personal bests were set that day, but we finished and felt great. We did a quick change into dry clothes and headed to the train station with about 1,000 or more of our closest smelly friends. It took a while to get to a train, but it felt great to sit down and reflect on what I’d just accomplished. (It’s great that you can take the subway back into town from the race finish; however, buy a metro card the day before and/or make sure your card has enough money on it to get through the stalls. You’ll avoid a lot lines if you use that simple tip)
A brunch celebration followed at Founding Farmers. The restaurant offers a brunch buffet with delectable bacon, sweets, pork belly and much, much more. The service was a delight as well. Highly recommend!
After brunch, we were off to the airport and home, but luckily, remembered to take our medal photo while still in DC. Next week, we run in Dallas where I’m sure it will much, much warmer.