Yes, you read right. The race I ran in D.C. yesterday had a rather peculiar name. Ever since I registered for this race a month ago, I’d been wondering if the name was a reminder to lawyers to take care of their pumping chambers or if it was just a reference to the rest of us that lawyers too can be caring and sentimental. I wasn’t sure so I asked the race volunteer handing out race bibs at number pickup a few days ago. To my surprise, she didn’t know either. Or maybe she did and just didn’t want to tell me. A fellow racer later told me that the race was 19 years old and it was sponsored by both Legal Times and the American Heart Association. Everything else would be subject to individual interpretation.
Other than this little snafu, the race itself turned out to be a blast and I had fun competing with the fittest people in the country. Although there were over 3,600 runners out on the course today, separated into two wave starts (smart move!), there was minimal congestion and plenty of post-race food and water to go around. The race volunteers all did a great job orchestrating the masses and directing runner traffic at the starting area. The bag dropoff/pickup was efficient as the assembly line of high school girls organized the area to perfection. Even the singing of the national anthem was momentus, as it was performed by a young aspiring vocalist who apparently is nationally renounced, as I was told by one of my race neighbors.
The course itself was simple yet scenic and made for a fast race. It basically consisted of running onto a blocked off section of a highway for about a mile, then off an exit onto a neighboring town for another mile, then along a road next to a river for slightly more than a mile before hitting the turnaround and going back the same way we came. Other than the big climb to the highway from the street at the start, there were some small rolling hills just to keep things interesting. There was good crowd support at the start and end of the race but for most of the way out there, I was basically listening to the sound of my own breathing and the rhythm of other people’s footfalls to keep me entertained. This was fine by me. I enjoyed running next to the water and the trees and bodning with nature if only for a little while.
As for my own performance, I ran a good race today but not a great one. I did not PR (Goal A), falling short by a good 25 seconds but I did run my second-fastest time ever for the distance, easily beating my 10K time at this point last year and my Goal B time of 39:30. This result is to be expected since as I haven’t kept up with speedwork and haven’t run nearly as much as I had been running a month ago. My pacing was pretty consistent throughout the race which I’m happy about and I didn’t feel as fatigued as I thought I would pushing through the hills. I would have liked to have been able to pick up the pace a bit more towards the end, but otherwise felt I ran the best race I could.
In the end, I crossed the finish line in 39:24 for an average pace of 6:21 min/mile. I placed 78 out of 1845 males and 25 out of 655 in my age division. This is pretty much on par with my recent race results back home so I think I held my own out there today. The coolest part of the race was when the MC called out my name as I was crossing the finish line and thanked me personally for traveling so far to run this race. I heard some loud cheers from the audience and took a bow just for fun to show my appreciation.
After my experience today, I can’t say I’m convinced that lawyers indeed are creatures of sentiment (for those readers who are affiliated with the law profession, I kid of course…) but since I’m all for healing hearts, I suggest all those who’ll be in D.C. next year around this time to check out this race. It really was well-organized and loads of fun…even if you don’t happen to be a lawyer!
Mile 1 – 6:20
Mile 2 – 6:18
Mile 3 – 6:27
Mile 4 – 6:25
Mile 5 – 6:26
Mile 6 – 6:19
Last 0.2 – 1:09 (5:45 pace)