Race Report – Army Ten Miler

After this weekend, I needed a break, so I avoided the internet for most of yesterday and it was glorious.  But nevermind that, it’s time for a race report.

Sunday was the 29th Annual Army Ten Miler.  I believe this was the fifth year I ran it, making it the race that I have run the most times.  (That is an awkward sentence.)  And I continue to love this race.

I raced through the expo pretty quickly on Friday as I went during work, but it looked like there was quite a bit there, and plenty for the military families.  I love that this race is so big in supporting military families.  Also, because the Ulman Cancer Fund now has a presence at Walter Reed, Team Fight was also part of this race.  This wasn’t my official Team Fight race, but I think for next year, I’m going to commit to racing at both Half Full and Army Ten Miler for Team Fight.

Race morning dawned bright and early.  Actually I guess it started before dawn.  We headed down to the race area at the Pentagon relatively early, wanting to avoid the rush on the Metro.  And as with every year, I’m glad we did.  Metro just isn’t properly equipped for those types of crowds at that time of day, and yet it happens every year.

Met up with Team Fight before the race and huddled together for warmth.  Melissa and I were wearing heat sheets from the Baltimore Half (that were still in my car) and people were definitely looking at us like we were crazy.  Those were clearly the non-runners. The runners who had been around the block a time or two thought we were geniuses for bringing heat sheets.  If nothing else, they were an amazing wind block.

Starting last year, they changed the way the race corrals up.  Rather than getting in a giant long line for the start, the corrals each gather behind a balloon arch in their color, and then that arch leads you up to the start.  It’s a really great way to get the runners in the proper position because you can’t miss the balloon arches.

They said security would be tighter, but I didn’t really notice.  I don’t run with a Camelbak though, just a water belt, so maybe that’s why.

This year, I actually did the math and wasn’t worried about the time cutoff at the 5 mile mark.  I just knew that I had to keep under a 15 minute mile.  That was totally doable.

Around mile 6 or so, I met up with a friend from Team Fight who I didn’t know super well, but we ended up running the rest of the race with her and it was awesome.  We kept a good pace together and just chatted the whole way.  It was nice to run with someone new.  All these ultramarathoners I know scare me though.  I think 26.2 is insanely far.  I don’t know how they do more than that.

The course was beautiful as always and the crowd support was great.  Tons of people out cheering on the runners, and thankfully, there was no course change due to the shutdown.  So we got to experience the full race as it was meant to be run.

We finished strong and with smiles on our faces.  I was having so much fun that when I stopped my watch, I didn’t even look at it.  In fact, I had to look up my finishing time as I wrote this post.  2:18:40.  No speed records there, but again, what a fun race.  At some point, I will go back to running for time, but for now, I’m just loving the experience.

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