RACE: Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon and Half (and 5K)
LOCATION: Washington, DC
DATE: Saturday, March 13, 2015
LENGTH: 3.1 miles and 13.1 miles
RUNIT RATING: one thumb up/ one thumb down
This past weekend some Runit moms took a trip down to Washington DC to participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC half marathon and 5K. The race definitely gets mixed reviews; this was not one of the best but also not the worst races we have completed. We’ve decided to list the pros and cons to give you the most straight forward assessment.
1) Cool sights along the half (and full) marathon course: Sights included the national monument and Smithsonian libraries. The race started at 7:30 am, which meant the landmarks were still lit up by the glow of lights.
2) Fun spectators: From superheros cheering you on to rowdy house party guests offering beer and other beverages along the course, these people were upbeat and fun despite the miserable weather.
3) Race Bling: I’m not one to do races to get a shiny badge around my neck, but these medals were pretty cool. Even 5K-ers got a nice one!
1) The 5K course: Participants in the 5K ran an out-and-back which started at the finish line. The course went from the parking lot of RFK stadium, up a highway on-ramp and then back down through the finish line again. To say this course was lacking in sights or any sort of landmark is an understatement.
2) The music: For being titled the “Rock n Roll” Marathon- there really wasn’t more live music on the half marathon course than we saw in the Hartford marathon. Maybe our expectations were too high, but it was a downer. To be fair, there were two live bands along the 5K course (which was much appreciated considering the early start and cold rain), and we did not stay for the post-race events (which included a concert by Better Than Ezra).
3) The post-race logistics: I don’t think this would have been such a con had the weather been nicer. Unfortunately, it was rainy and cold and there was no place to go! My 5K running partner (Robin) and I wanted to stay to cheer on our half marathon friends (Sarah and Patty) as they crossed the finish line. This meant we had to stand in the parking lot in soaking wet clothes with the wind blowing. We decided to huddle under an overpass while we hydrated and enjoyed some post-race snacks, but the conditions were less than desirable. There were a few vendor tents, but it was made clear they were not for shelter and we had not paid for the VIP tent. Considering Robin and I are pretty resourceful individuals, we really had no other option if we wanted to remain at the finish line.
I should also include the public transportation logjam after the race was not a fun way to finish up the event. While the race website provided helpful information about how to get to and from the race, no one was prepared for the mass exodus of runners and their families that actually occurred. Again, this was an unfortunate side effect of the weather, but I do feel like the race organizers could have been better prepared.
So that’s our review- not good but not the worst. I do appreciate the work that goes into organizing a race, especially one in our nation’s capital (I can imagine what a nightmare it was to shut-down those roads). However, because it took place in Washington, D.C. we expected more. At least we had each other to keep our spirits up and laughing…even when we felt like crying!
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