On Monday July 4th, myself and over 1500 runners ran the inaugural Let Freedom Run 5K at Fairfax Corner Center. The weather, much like my last race, was ridiculously hot and humid. When I walked to the starting line I was already sweating. I promise you I will not miss this weather come fall.
Wearing Bib #1229 I finished as the 10th female overall with a chip time of 20:27. While the race was not a PR for me, I was proud of my performace and was REALLY pumped to finish in the top ten!
Ease of parking: I arrived early, as I do for all races, and had ZERO problem parking. My husband and kids arrived a bit after the start of the race and also had zero problem parking. My walk to pick up my packet was less than a minute and I parked right next to the port-o-potty just in case.
Ease of packet pick up: There was the option to pick up your packet prior to the race, but I decided to save gas money and time and just grab my packet right before the race. I registered and picked up my packet in less than five minutes and there was still size small shirts left an hour before the race.
Ease of getting to the start: The start was right next to packet pick up, which is right next to parking. Literally logistics wise this may have been one of the easiest races I’ve run.
Course: It sucks. Ok that is a bit harsh because in fairness to the race they do list on the website that it is challenging. I do not mind a challenge but I prefer hills in races that are longer than 3.1 miles long. Even 10 – 15 seconds lost on a hill in a 5K makes a giant difference in your time. I prefer flat courses for 5K’s, though I will admit I’m not sure I’ve ever run a 5K that I liked the course.
I like to take away something from every race I run. If I learn something I consider it a success.
What I learned: I do not run fast in heat, period, end of story. Okay I take that back. I think my time was fast, but I think fitness wise – well I hope anyways – that my time would have been faster. I started out at what I felt was a comfortable pace. I felt like I was holding back and was good to go to drop it down. Then the hills came. I couldn’t power up them like I normally do. The air felt heavy in my lungs.
I also learned that a 9 mile triple stroller run the Friday before a race, followed the next day by a fast 12 miles is not the best idea to do right before running a race[well I semi already knew this but….].
I did a warm up of about 2 miles before the race, but no strides. I should have done strides.
Mile 1: 6:13
Mile 2: 6:33
Mile 3: 6:46
Mile 3.1: 6:01 avg for .16
Typically if my first mile is my fastest mile I would say I did not run this race smart. I do believe I started out at a good pace, I think the hills were the factor in me slowing down. The finish was mostly flat so I was able to sprint it in at a good pace.
The best part of the race? Being surprised at the finish by my husband and three kids! After the race we registered Chloe for her first 1K. I ran by her side the entire time. It was a great way to spend the 4th of July!
Overall I would recommend this race. If you are looking for a fun, family friendly event on the 4th of July, this is it. The finishers of the kids race, got medals, a t-shirt and a coupon for a free dessert at Uncle Julio’s.
This race is put on by Capital Running Company, the same people who own the website http://www.runwashington.com/, which meant that the prizes were fantastic. All in all I’m glad I ran and would probably run again next year.
|photo copyright Lea Gallardo|
|photo copyright Lea Gallardo|