Short story: I ran with C.Mom at her pace and had an absolutely wonderful time. I really ought to run more races for fun!
I got up this morning at 3:45 am so that I could hit the road by 5:00 am. One might think I was driving a distance to a race, but really the race start is less than 20 miles from my house. Unfortunately (for me), this race is a point to point race. I drove over to National Harbor to park my car. On the trip over there, I realized I had remembered everything except my id or any money. Luckily, there was plenty of free parking, so by 5:30, I was parked, had run into a friend, and was on a bus out to Mount Vernon. The bus trip and meeting up with C.Mom at the start went smoothly and we just hung out and chatted until the race started at 7:30 am.
I love this course. The GW Parkway is beautiful and has lots of shade. It also has nice, rolling hills. The downhills are fun, but not so steep as to hurt the quads and the uphills are totally manageable. I grabbed an oreo at mile 5 (loved that!) and we had a potty stop (more on that later) and we kept on going. It was pretty sunny out and getting warmer, but it was still a nice race day. Then we got there.
The Bridge! It has been billed as a pretty hard uphill.
I have to admit, I didn’t find it that challenging. I’m not sure if it was because I was running around my long run pace rather than race pace or because I have so many hills around my house, but I felt great on the bridge. In fact, I was able to run ahead and then turn around and take C.Mom’s picture.
I had my camera in my hand for most of the rest of the race. It was so much fun. I felt kind of bad because I was feeling fresh and having a good time and all around me people were struggling. Then we ran by a medic and I took his picture (didn’t turn out), so he offered to take our picture. Fun!
Then, it was down off the bridge and up a spiral to another little bridge. Finally, we headed into National Harbor with less than a 5k left.
In the last two miles, there was a big chunk that was dirt and rock, with a small amount of gravel section. I wasn’t thrilled with that part. I was afraid I’d step wrong. It was also pretty narrow, so it was hard to pass anyone. After that, there was a short bit of paved section left. I pushed C.Mom to give it all she had left and she gave it her all! For the first time ever, I didn’t even look at the clock as I finished, but I think it was somewhere in the 2:25 range.
All in all, this was an excellent race. I had a lot of fun and there were plenty of water stops and I got an oreo. ;o) I have only two complaints about this race and only one of them could be fixed. My first complaint was the number of porta potties. We ended up spending more than 5 minutes standing in line to use the potty at mile 5. The lines looked similar at every one we passed. It would have been nice if there’d been an extra one at each stop or slightly more frequent opportunities.
My biggest complaint has to do with the logistics and I’m pretty sure there is no other way to handle this. I was gone from my house for more than 6 hours to run a race nearby that took me less than 2.5 hours to run. I didn’t have much of a parking problem, but by the time I was in the bus riding out, the lines were horrid. Then we had to wait for over an hour at the start while people were transported. Then it took me over a half hour to get out of National Harbor. I’m not sure there’s any other way to handle this race, but it makes it pretty low on my list of races to run. Too bad too, because otherwise, it was a well-organized race and a great course. If we had stayed at the hotel, things would have been simpler, but I just can’t justify it.
So, great race, great fun, but I probably won’t run it again.
21 thoughts on “Wilson Bridge Half Marathon Race report”
Great job, glad you had fun. Sounds like a logistics nightmare though, bummer about that
🙂 You got this up fast! It was a great race- and I so appreciate our chatting and your pushing in all the right places!
Now that's a sign of friendship and running improvement –that you are out helping a friend in a race and enjoying every minute of it. Do you remember when a 2:25 was tough for you? You are a good friend for C.Mom. Thanks for the post.
Great Job! You always make such events sound so fun.
sounds like lots of fun! it's always so great to run with a buddy. i was looking for a race for my client to do this fall in prep for MCM and considered this one, but ultimately felt that the logistics would have been really frustrating to him. this race course seems so beautiful but i wish they could figure out a way to make it logistically a little simpler for participants. great job today and so happy you had fun!!
I love that you had fun running 🙂
Pacing friends is so much fun! Though I did feel bad too when I felt okay and everyone was struggling around me when I did that a month ago. Congrats on a fun 1/2!
Too bad about the logistics. I live in an outer 'burb, and was thinking of running this race. I decided to pass on it this year because I am still trying to get back up to half-marathon shape after having a baby, but had it on a list for next year. The p-to-p nature makes it such a hassle.
Congrats on a great race! Yah the logistics sound tough though. I have a p2p race coming up in October and am concerned about transit time too.
your pics are great and it sounds like you had a nice race! i agree about the logistics – i had several buddies run it, all who complained about the amount of time to get to the start & leave at the end.
Great job on the race, nice to run one for fun!
I wouldn't care for all that waiting around either. Sounds like you had a good time and helped a friend though.
That's so super early to wake up! Oreos while running…now that sounds amazing!
You wouldn't run it again, even if you got 2 oreos? The second I read that, I was thinking that this was my kinda race!! Too bad about the transport issues, but great report!
Congrats on your race! It is nice to run for fun and not worry about the time! And Hooray for Oreos! 🙂
CONGRATS on the half and awesome that you stuck with your friend at her pace. Sounds like a fun event! Gotta love an Oreo mid-race!I'm not a fan of race logistics like that! Seems like such a poor use of time, but like you said – there may not be another option.
Great race and report, well done! I run plenty races for fun or as training runs and just love it. The logistics thing is one reason I try to avoid big races as far as possible.
Great job at the race. Too bad the logistics were a mess. Cheers!
I LOVE running a "race" with other peeps where you enjoy the race itself and your pace is just comfy. Nice work out there and pacing C.Mom!That does sound pretty crazy for all the extra time you had to spend – ugh!
Good for you! Best race = the marathon I ran with Lady J at her pace!
Wow, I raced in Philly this weekend, and we all talked about how we could have stayed home–but that sounds like just as much of a headache as getting to PA! I live in Old Town, so I'd like to see some shuttles run from there (or Arlington) just like they do for the GW Parkway race. We'll have to mention that to Kathy for next year.