I got sucked into the Maryland Women’s Distance Festival this year. All across the state, there are women only 5K races (no, I wouldn’t call a 5K a distance race, but I love that it gets new runners out there). If you do four, you get an award at the end of the season. I like awards, so you know I’m in.
My first race of the series was the Run for Roses in Wheaton. I don’t run a lot of races in this area, even though this is technically my local running region. I really liked this race though. Inexpensive and friendly. And chip timed!
I hadn’t looked at the course beforehand, so I didn’t realize how hilly it was going to be. Typically, I don’t mind hills, but there were some steep downhills on gravel paths, and that was more scary than fun. I definitely walked down those hills. But aside from that, the course was beautiful. It was held in Wheaton Regional Park, which is amazing. I want to go back just to stroll. At times, I felt like I was in Epcot during the Flower and Garden festival with all of the educational signs pointing out veggie bearing plants and homes for various types of butterflies. It was really a gorgeous course.
At the end of the race, everyone received a beautiful rose (mine still looks great days later) and a cute printed finisher’s certificate – something that will probably get recycled in my home, but an awesome memento for a first-timer.
I finished in a reasonable amount of time – right around 40 minutes. Not my fastest by far, but not my slowest either. I was just taking it easy (or trying to) and enjoying the run, but I struggled to keep my heartrate down. One of the perils of running in the summer. Just something I have to keep an eye on.
I ran this race with Jen and Betsy, and I am so excited that Betsy is back in the area. I’m glad to have another local running friend to spend time with, and I hope she doesn’t mind that I drag her to random races all across the state!
Afterwards, we hit up the all important post-race requirement – BREAKFAST. After all, I had another race the next day. Definitely had to refuel.